10/27/2011 02:58 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Salma Hayek Talks 'Puss In Boots,' Girl Power And Exhaustion

Sultry Salma Hayek lends her dulcet tones to "Puss in Boots" as Kitty Softpaws -- a worthy adversary who evolves (naturally) into a love interest for Puss himself. But playing a strong character isn't the only thing that has the actress experiencing deja vu. In the film, Hayek is once again reunited with her frequent co-star Antonio Banderas. Here, Hayek talks about Antonio, cartoons and why she is exhausted all the time -- all while snacking on jelly beans, of course.

Were you like, 'This is so cool, I'm paired with Antonio again and I play a kick-ass character'?
Yes, I thought, 'Oh my God, I can't believe my luck!' Because you think after you play with Antonio so many times no one is going to pair you up with him again, so it never crossed my mind that I was going to be able to not only play with him again but do such a good movie. I love it! My daughter is highly impressed with me. For the first time I see her see me with different eyes.

Your character is such a girl power role.
She's wonderful. This is one of the best female characters I've played, really! She's an action hero, she is just as good with the sword, she's the best thief, she dances well, and she's an equal.

Sounds like you're a little jealous.
Yes, I really wish I could move like that. I'm good but she's great.

I'm the same age as you [45] with a four-year-old. What cartoons does Valentina like?
Right now she loves "The Lion King." As far as TV goes, my favorite one to watch with her is "Little Bear," but I think she's getting a little too old for that one.

Doesn't that upset you?
It makes me so sad! She wants to watch shows like "iCarly" but sometimes they can have an attitude and it's not a good influence on my daughter. She gives me attitude and she's only four!

Besides the jelly beans, anything else naughty you’re eating today?
Today I've been very bad. I'm in L.A, I'm not here a lot. Most of the time I'm in Paris. So my father flew in from Mexico and we are sitting and eating tortillitas and quesadillas and this really bad Mexican stuff. It was so good! With really hot spicy sauce. I know I sound like a cliche and it was totally a cliche and then I will go back to France and have the croissants with the coffee but right now I was totally pigging out with Mexican food.

Your daughter must be speaking 17 languages by now.
No, just the same three she was speaking when she was two.

Oh, shut up.
I'm serious -- French, English and Spanish. But she wants to learn Italian and German. I'm like, 'That's annoying. I don't even speak French like you do.'

You could learn German with her.
I can't even speak ... Can't you hear me?

Oh please, I wish I could speak Spanish the way you speak English.
But I can't speak French and that's the one I really have to know. I can speak a little but I'm really bad.

Do French people roll their eyes when you speak?
They try to be polite, but you know, I can tell. I get by but it's embarrassing. You know what? When I don't know something I have my four-year-old translator.

By the way, I have to tell you I loved "Frida." I can't even imagine how hard that was to get made.
I can't even imagine it either. I don't know how I did it. I think about it sometimes. I try to produce some other movies now and it's so hard. I don't even know how I managed to do that one. Can I ask you something?

Do you get tired a lot?

Um, the other night I couldn't even form words. I wake up tired.
I don't know that many women my age who are working mothers. I'm exhausted all the time! Other than being tired, I'm glad I waited [to have a child]. I feel so tired. I'm excited about my life but I'm exhausted!