This beauty was born and raised in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Once a college student in Mexico City majoring in international relations studies, Hayek finally decided to dropout to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an actress.
Hayek started out doing local theater, including a role as the female lead in Aladdin and His Marvelous Lamp. Hayek moved to Los Angeles in 1991. Foreign to the English language, Hayek spent the next 18 months taking English lessons, while perfecting her acting skills with a drama teacher. Although Hayek spent four months auditioning for a leading role that finally went to another actress, the director, impressed by her determination, cast her in a smaller role in the film so that she could become a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Her big break had finally arrived, and it was mostly thanks to her appearance on a Spanish-language cable talk show. Director Robert Rodriguez caught Hayek's appearance, and knew he had to cast her for the lead role of the sequel to his successful film El Mariachi, 1995's Desperado, opposite Antonia Banderas.