This Mexican-born actress has truly crossed over.
With her right hand over her heart, Salma Hayek performed the U.S. National Anthem on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Wednesday -- a performance that ruffled the feathers of the Mexican media, some of whom said that Hayek fumbled with her birth-country’s national anthem.
“Salma sings the U.S. national anthem better than the Mexican one,” reads the title of an article in Mexican daily El Informador, accompanied by a photo with a caption saying: “The Mexican actress Salma Hayek appears to easily forget her homeland.”
The copywriters at El Informador have a point.
Hayek only made it through the first lines of the Mexican anthem before appearing to draw a blank. “Eh, no, really?” She said, before resuming. After one more line, she stopped, saying: “it's enough.”
Watch Salma sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" in the video above and her rendition of Mexico's national anthem below
Notwithstanding the Mexican media’s hurt feelings, Hayek did point out during her interview with Letterman that she tries to instill a sense of pride in her daughter for her Mexican heritage. Hayek also noted that the Mexican flag is “more elaborate” than the U.S. flag because it features an eagle eating a serpent.
In fairness to Hayek, she often looked unsure of herself as she sang the American anthem and she goofed up the “bombs bursting in air” verse.
Despite her proficiency with the U.S. national anthem, Hayek no longer resides in the United States. She currently lives in Paris, with her billionaire French husband François-Henri Pinault.
She denied knowing the words to the French national anthem, “La Marsellaise.”
Hayek has sparked controversy on occasion for appearing to play down her mexicanidad.
The actress told the German edition of Vogue magazine last year: “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now.”
Hayek backpedalled shortly after the comments were published.
“I have never denied my background or my culture,” she said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “I have taught my child to embrace her Mexican heritage, to love my first language, Spanish, to learn about Mexican history, music, folk art, food, and even the Mexican candy I grew up with."
In case you’re wondering, this is what the Mexican national anthem actually sounds like: