Salma Hayek recalls being held at knifepoint in her Walk of Fame acceptance speech
On Friday, Salma Hayek accepted one of Hollywood's biggest honors — she was awarded the 2,709th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But for the Eternals actress, the night was more than just an accolade. It allowed her to reclaim a personal memory for herself.
While giving her prepared speech to fans and friends, Hayek opened up about a terrifying story from when she first moved to America to pursue her acting dreams in the early 1900s, recalling how she was visited by some friends from Mexico who wanted to go to Hollywood Boulevard and buy some souvenirs.
"We're walking down the street, and a poor man was on the floor and was very messed up," she explained, adding that the man catcalled her. Hayek ignored him and kept walking, and the man "took offense, got up, took a knife out, and started coming after me trying to stab me."
An emotional Hayek went on to detail how she and her friends ran away. "I was asking someone to call the police, nobody came," she said. "Eventually, we went in a store because we were so tired and it was so scary. We jumped over the counter, I grabbed a stick and I had to keep him from getting us with a stick." Hayek continued to fight off her attacker until two men — who happened to be Hells Angels — walked in and subdued the fight, getting Hayek and her friends to safety.
"Everytime I thought about Hollywood Boulevard, this is what I remember," Hayek said. While she detailed other instances of racism she experienced throughout her career and admitted that she almost gave up on her dreams, she also called the night "very healing" and thanked fans for standing by her for so many years.
During the ceremony, Hayek was honored by Eternals director Chloé Zhao and Adam Sandler, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who all spoke about her work and grace on and off-camera.
"Selma is a person of incredible talent, depth, and compassion. She is a woman who is brave enough to walk, to pave her own way. And never allow anyone to put her in the box," Zhao said of her friend.
Watch the full ceremony and speeches below.
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