Why Salma Hayek Believes Her Work for Women in Hollywood Is Finally Paying Off

"After a long time, I'm finally seeing something happening," the 'Hummingbird Project' actress says of gender parity in the entertainment industry.

Salma Hayek believes that her work to bring better roles and more justice to women in Hollywood is finally paying off.

While speaking about her character in her latest film, The Hummingbird Project, she told The Hollywood Reporter, "This is the first time that I've played such a powerful businesswoman."

Hayek credited the opportunity for the role to the changing landscape for women in the film industry. "I've been complaining, and being very verbal, and very proactive about this for 25 years," Hayek said of gender inequality within the industry. "After a long time, I'm finally seeing something happening."

Hayek continued, "Not only do I get to play such a strong, smart, powerful woman, but she is a Latina. This was unimaginable when I first started out." She added, "But I did imagine it. I held on to the dream."

Actor Michael Mando says that he has a new understanding of being a Latino in film. "As a brown person, when I was growing up, I didn't really understand it in the way that it's phrased now," he said.

He spoke directly to Hayek, saying, "For you to have trail-blazed the way, when it was even more difficult back then, I think you deserve special recognition." Mundo highlighted the importance for him "to see a brown woman lead a production, lead a film, and do it so powerfully and gracefully, the way Salma has done it, way before it was considered of the time."

"It was hard," Hayek told him. "Right now, it's trendy. Right now everyone wants to talk about that. Before, if you talked about that, when I did, I was just a pain in the butt. People wanted to walk away from you." She noted that the culture 20 years ago caused people to say, "'She wants to talk about equality, or racism. Stay away from that crazy one.' I was one of those crazy ones," she said.

The Hummingbird Project also stars Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard and is directed by Kim Nguyen. Watch the full interview with the cast from the Toronto Film Festival below.