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Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz recall their emergency plane incident: 'I thought maybe we were going to die'

The Oscar-nominated actresses have been close friends for over two decades

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
April 30, 2024
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Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz are the embodiment of "friends till the end" in the Hollywood machine, always supportive of each other's endeavors and willing to uplift each other in any situation.

Salma, 57, and Penélope, 50, have experienced many situations together over their two decades of friendship in the industry, and are reliving one of their most horrifying.

Penélope interviewed her friend for the newest issue of Vogue Arabia, in which they recalled a time they nearly died on a plane on Halloween.

"You and I were in a hairy situation on a plane once… What did you learn from the emergency landing we experienced?" the Parallel Mothers actress asked her friend, and Salma recalled the touching moments they shared.

"You've always had a fear of flying and you always give me instructions of what to do if you die in a crash!" she recalled. "That day we were together on a flight and the plane had an emergency and had to land in the middle of nowhere in Mexico." 

"I knew it was going to happen because I saw the flight attendant coming out of the cockpit and grabbing oxygen," Salma remembered, then sharing how she tried to calm Penélope down. 

Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz arrive on the red carpet at the premiere of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" on August 4, 2008 in Westwood, California© Getty
The best friends spoke with each other for Vogue Arabia

"So, I took your hands and said to you that we're going to be OK. There is something wrong with the plane, but I need you to calm down. And I was so proud of you because I could see you struggling to calm yourself down. We could do a whole movie about this!" 

The beautiful words that followed after even left an impact on the Frida star, as she added: "And then you said something so beautiful that I will never forget. You said, 'I thought maybe we were going to die. But we were going to die together. And we were going to be OK.'"

MORE: Salma Hayek amazes in beautiful gown for throwback photo as she sends touching message to Penélope Cruz

The pair first met when Penélope moved to Hollywood to kickstart her English-language career and Salma, who had mutual friends, immediately extended her hand in friendship by picking her up at the airport and hosting her at her home.

Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek mingle during the "Cinema Against AIDS 2005" at the 58th Cannes Film Festival on May 19, 2005 in Cannes, France© Getty Images
They recalled their near-death experience on a plane that left Penélope in particular horrified

"And it's been more than 20 years of a solid friendship. We clicked instantaneously. It felt like we had known each other for a lifetime," she fondly added.

MORE: Penélope Cruz lets her hair down in very rare glimpse of date night with Javier Bardem for 50th birthday

Penélope, who celebrated her 50th birthday this weekend in NYC with husband Javier Bardem, Ricky Martin, and Salma herself, spoke about the incident in an interview with People in 2017.

Penélope Cruz's 50th birthday party with Salma Hayek© Instagram
"We clicked instantaneously. It felt like we had known each other for a lifetime."

"I had an emergency landing on Halloween day with my friend Salma and because it was Halloween we were dressed as clowns," she quipped. "And I never liked clowns but after that  experience, if you can even less. I cannot stand seeing a clown after that."

MORE: Salma Hayek rocks sheer corset as she joins Madonna live on stage

She remembered several others being on the flight with them in costume, adding: "We were 100 people on that flight and thank God I'm here to tell you the story but it was crazy because we were all wearing costumes."

penelope cruz and salma hayek in brown dress © Getty Images
"You said, 'I thought maybe we were going to die. But we were going to die together. And we were going to be OK.'"

"It was really crazy, when I tell this story people think I'm making it up."

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