January 12, 2008 / 3:09 AM / 10 years ago

Salma Hayek to play bearded lady in "Freak" film

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She sported heavy eyebrows in her Oscar-nominated portrait of artist Frida Kahlo, and now actress Salma Hayek is embracing even more conspicuous facial hair for her next film role -- as a bearded lady.

In what will be her first movie since becoming a mother last fall, the 41-year-old actress has signed on to star opposite John C. Reilly in Universal Pictures’ family horror drama “Cirque du Freak,” the studio said on Friday.

The film, to be directed by Paul Weitz (“American Pie,” “About a Boy”), is based on a best-selling children’s book series by Darren Shan.

Reilly, currently starring in the rock biopic satire “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” will play a vampire who drafts a teenager to serve as his assistant. The youth is then turned into a half-vampire and goes to live in a circus of freaks that includes Hayek’s character. She will play a bearded lady named Madame Truska.

The Mexican-born beauty, who gave birth to a daughter in September, earned an Oscar nomination for her title role in the 2002 film “Frida,” about the unibrowed artist.

She currently is an executive producer of the ABC hit television comedy “Ugly Betty” and has a recurring role on the series. Universal is a unit of General Electric Co’s NBC Universal.

Editing by Dean Goodman and Eric Walsh

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