“Cirque” du Salma: New mom Hayek is back to work

It’s hard for me not to get excited when Salma Hayek‘s name gets connected to a project.

The reasons are too numerous to count, but like many AfterEllen.com readers, I can resist neither her

business savvy

(lately earning Ugly Betty a new batch

of nominations)

nor her stunning presence (lately earning us photos like the one below).

For these reasons, I’m trying to imagine how this casting news

will turn out to be good casting news: Hayek is set to play a bearded lady

alongside vampire John C. Reilly in Cirque du Freak, a movie adaptation of the children’s book series by

Darren Shan. Paul Weitz will direct, which indicates it could go in the direction of American Pie

(yikes!) or About a Boy (cheers!). That said, I don’t know how Cirque‘s plot — centered on a battle between bloodsuckers

and their rivals, the “Vampanese” — will fit the model of understated humor set by the latter Weitz picture.

Also unclear is how Hayek’s character fits into the story. I have no doubt that she can vamp it up with the best of them (watch that Season 1 guest spot

on Ugly Betty again for some delicious confirmation). And we all know how sexy she is as a certain famously browed and moustachioed painter,

but I’m guessing this bearded lady will be a little different from Frida.

According to Variety, Cirque will be Hayek’s first role after having her baby (congrats to her and partner Francois-Henri Pinault

on their first child together, Valentina Paloma Pinault). She is already busy being a super-mom, though, as an Ambassador

for the UNICEF/Pampers “One Pack = One Vaccine” program.

Disposable diapers make me cringe, but it’s hard to cringe for too long since the partnership’s U.K.- and Europe-based diaper sales have already funded

more than 25 million tetanus vaccines for mums and babies in Africa and Asia. Super-mom it is.

Hayek is also in the midst of the animated South of the Border, and

is slated to appear in two other films: Keep Coming Back, which actually sounds promising,

and La Banda, which is sure to do well since Hayek is not only acting but producing.

As for Cirque du Freak, it seems to be one of the few vampire flicks that, as of yet, has no tasteless (let alone

tasty) lesbian ploys — and just when we might actually vote

to include such prurience. I guess we’ll have to keep on dreaming.