Salma Hayek was chosen as one of the Duchess of Sussex’s “impactful” people for the British Vogue cover and cover profile. Sidenote: I hate the rise of “impactful” to describe sh-t these days, it’s one of those dumb buzzwords used by people like Gwyneth Paltrow. Anyway, Salma is no stranger to magazine covers, but she was honored to be chosen by Meghan all the same. Salma does a lot of charity work and advocacy work, and that seems to be why Meghan chose Salma, although Salma makes it sound like Meghan didn’t have a specific idea about which organization Salma should promote. Salma chatted with CNN about the project and more:
Edward Enninful called her and told he was about to patch her through to someone: “I was in the car and he said, ‘Listen, I’m going to put somebody on the phone. Are you in the car with people?’ I said ‘Yes.’ He told me ‘you cannot say the name of the person I’m calling.’ Frankly, I thought it was a joke. And we are also very good friends with Naomi Campbell. And I thought, they’re pulling my leg or something, you know? I said, ‘Oh, she’s in London and he’s gonna pass me to her. But then it took a while for the other person to get on the phone. Then she got on the phone and introduced herself.”
Speaking to Meghan over the phone: “She introduced herself and was very kind and loving and easy going,” Hayek says, adding that Markle started to explain a future “project in support of women” she was working on. Hayek says because she’s worked with women’s charities for 25 years, she was expecting Markle to inquire about teaming up for a specific organization she had in mind. (Hayek is on the board of the Kering Foundation, which combats violence against women, and helped with Chime for Change, a campaign for Gucci to promote women’s rights worldwide. She is also an advocate for refugees.)
Salma on how it was explained to her: “I got excited. I’m thinking and I’m trying to find the logic to this strange day. She explained her passion for women and what’s happening currently. And then she said she’s doing this with British Vogue. She said, you know, she was the guest editor of British Vogue, and I’m thinking maybe it’s going to be an article on what we’re doing, you know, with Kering and women, and she said no, ‘I’m [doing a cover], I’m not going to be the cover, I’m putting my favorite women on the cover. And you’re definitely one of them. You one of the first ones.’ I was like completely shocked. I did not see it coming that way. She started talking about how she’s been watching me and why me.”
Salma couldn’t tell her husband, daughter, or publicist. “I couldn’t talk about it and I didn’t. I felt very honored when we did this photo shoot. No one else knew what it was for. Only me and the photographer, Peter Lindbergh, knew. And all the girls were getting their picture taken for the cover and they didn’t know that Meghan was how they got there.”
Salma on Meghan’s idea of guest-editing: “I loved that she didn’t want to be on the cover. She used her light to put it upon others, the ones who inspired her.”
Whether she plans to meet Meghan in person: “Maybe. Maybe it’s not something you’re gonna see. I think we had a connection before we even talked to each other. The shock is that this person had been watching me and I had no idea. It’s really beautiful and I really do think that we have a special connection.”
I get that Salma was and is honored to be included, but I find the details of the phone call to be slightly off-putting? It’s not like Meghan’s idea of a multi-person Inspo Lady cover was so groundbreaking or never-before-seen. Most magazines have done some version of that in the past. And I also find it weird that Meghan didn’t seem to choose Salma for the express purpose of promoting one particular charity or the Kering Foundation. Isn’t that the point? To draw attention to the work these cover subjects are doing? I don’t know, maybe Salma is explaining it the wrong way.
Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of British Vogue.