“I really wanted to be part of ‘As Luck Would Have It.’ It says something that is very important for me,” Salma Hayek said Wednesday in Berlin, where she is promoting the latest film by Alex de la Iglesia (“The Last Circus”), screening as a Berlinale Special Gala.
A social satire, “Luck’s” screenplay was written in English by U.S. screenwriter-producer Randy Feldman. As adapted for Spain, it turns on an out-of-work publicist, once an ad agency star, whose head is accidentally impailed on a metal bar in a Roman amphitheater in Cartagena, Spain. Unable to move, he attempts to sell an exclusive primetime TV interview to save his family, led by his loving wife (Hayek) from financial ruin. Popular Spanish TV comedian Jose Mota plays the husband. Six Sales is selling worldwide outside Spain and France.
“Luck” talks about subjects that concern everybody Hayek said, listing unemployment, a family’s struggle to cope, people’s obsession with the press, and the press obsession with events and celebrities.
But it’s the character Hayek plays that moves her most. “What I loved most about acting in it was to represent those heroines that nobody talks about: housewives. Throughout history, grandmothers, mothers, wives have beared the pain of injustice, put on a good face,” said Hayek. “I wanted to do the film as a tribute to housewives.”
“Luck” was developed by former DC Comics prexy Jenette Kahn and ex-Motion Picture Corp. exec Adam Richman, exec producers on “Gran Torino,” via New York-based Double Nickel.
But that picture never got made. Spanish producer Andres Vicente Gomez brought in Mota, then De la Iglesia, who cast Hayek. “Luck” was set up as a Spanish-language Euro co-production between Valencia’s Trivision, Al Fresco, a group of Spanish private investors and De la Iglesia’s regular French co-producers, Franck Ribiere and Verane Frediani.
“As far as I know, this is the world’s first ‘pre-make,’ ” joked Gomez.
De la Iglesia described the film as “a grotesque tragedy, the story of a man trapped in an impossible situation who’s really losing his soul. There’s a moment in the film when it seems that he has to lose his dignity to survive, but the question the film asks is: Is it really worth it?”