Salma Hayek ‘Shocked’ by ‘Black Mirror’ Script — She Plays a ‘Disgusting, Grotesque’ Version of Herself

Salma Hayek’s always been fearless but there was one role that gave her pause: Herself. Or at least a comically awful version of herself that she plays in the first episode of “Black Mirror” Season 6, titled “Joan Is Awful.” IndieWire’s Steve Greene called this episode another in “the show’s ‘ripped from the WIRED headlines’ approach to technology.” Annie Murphy plays a tech executive who unwittingly gives away her life rights via the terms and conditions she failed to read (as we all do) for an app called Streamberry. The app pulls enough data to reconstruct Joan’s life via AI, and it becomes a TV show starring Salma Hayek playing Joan. Yes, Hayek is playing herself, an actor who’s taken the part of playing Joan. But of course this is a very, very heightened version of Salma Hayek. “I got to explore the concepts and clichés people have about me and be self-deprecating,” the actress told Radio Times (via The Independent) of the episode, which also stars Ben Barnes, Michael Cera, and Rob Delaney.,“It’s as if I created an alter ego where I could do the most disgusting, grotesque things that you would never do in real life,” Hayek said. “And have permission to do that.” “There are so many moments that shocked me in the script. There is one huge one that I had to come to terms with, and made me ask myself, ‘Do I really want to do this? Am I going to get in trouble?’’” Needless to say the episode gets even more meta than its initial concept. “Black Mirror” has been exploring the outer-limits possibilities of technology since the show premiered on Britain’s Channel 4 in 2011. Creator Charlie Brooker imagined stunningly real alternate realities where the U.K. Prime Minister might be coerced by social media into having sex with a pig, or that someday our entire way of life, and our hierarchical place within it, may be determined by the people around us constantly giving us Uber-style star ratings. That life rights should suddenly come under attack, as the intersection of the law and tech becomes ever more slippery, is barely a leap.

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