Actress to play bearded lady in Universal film

Salma Hayek is joining a freak show.

The actress has signed on to star opposite John C. Reilly in Universal Pictures’ horror drama “Cirque du Freak,” which will mark her first acting role since her maternity leave.

Production begins next month.

Paul Weitz is directing the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan.

Weitz is also producing alongside Lauren Shuler Donner.

Reilly will play a vampire who drafts a 14-year-old to serve as his assistant. The youth is turned into a half-vampire and becomes the catalyst in a battle between vampires and the rival Vampanese. Hayek will play Madame Truska, the bearded lady.

In addition to her acting work, Hayek is an exec producer of ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”

She is repped by CAA and Management 360.

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