Salma Hayek married billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in 2009, and since then she has a learned a lot about marriage, motherhood and balancing the ever-tough act of family and career.
In the July issue of Red magazine, Hayek opens up about how she does it all, and even doles out a piece of advice that has helped make her marriage so successful. Candidly, Hayek, 49, admits what happens in the bedroom isn't critical to making it work with her husband.
"Sex is not the key to a happy marriage, but it's a side effect. Although not every day! If it's every day then it loses its charm. It's so important to maintain your chemistry," she explains. "You have to continue to laugh, continue to explore, continue to have fun with each other, continue to have romance."
Although Hayek is an Oscar-nominated actress, she says she's most proud of her personal life. "A good marriage, full of love, is my biggest accomplishment. Home is where my husband is," she continues. "He is home. Everything outside of the family nucleus is an adventure that you're living together."
As for how she keeps it steamy in the bedroom, Hayek explains that it's important to feel sexy, which sometimes can be difficult when feeling insecure. "Even though I struggle every moment with my own judgment of my body, I'm in touch with myself. I try to be really aware of every muscle. It is sexy," she shares. "Sexuality, what other people see in you, is enjoying your body. Involve your senses in your life, and you will become sexy. Dance, and not to look good. If you dance terribly, still dance."
She adds, "It might in the moment not look sexy, but this interaction with life makes you sexy. And even if you're on a diet, enjoy your food—please! It's a very Latin point of view."
Despite saying a "good marriage" is her "biggest accomplishment", Hayek admits that becoming a mother to daughterValentina Pinault has been the real "miracle".
"I had a child late in life...I've had that yearning, that longing, and that pain...I always wanted to have a lot of children, and I was not able to. My body, as a miracle, had one," she says. "The huge blessing I've had is that my husband has three other children. So I have four. And they are all so different."
But like any growing girl, 8-year-old Valentina can be easily distracted, so Hayek makes it a point to always keep her engaged. "I try to be with Valentina as much as possible, even when I'm working. She was with me on the cover shoot and she felt like a participant—she wasn't just sitting there on the iPad. This is so important. You have to drag children into participating in life," she explains.
Max Abadian/Red magazine
"It takes a lot of work and mummies are very tired because most of us work and life is exhausting, especially if you are an older mom like me, but you have to make the effort. And if you have a smart child, it's harder," she continues. "Now it's so easy to just entertain them (with a screen), and you don't have to go through the complaining for an hour about dragging them places. Drag them, and make them a part of your life. It's about the human connection, and the things they can learn from participating in life. Otherwise, isolation starts to happen."