Salma Hayek on ‘Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’: ‘My main hope is that you become compassionate’ (Exclusive Video)

salma hayek kahlil gibran's the prophet oscar animated feature

Salma Hayek produced the animated film “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” and also voices one of its characters. As she explains during our recent webcam chat (watch below), “I don’t have an agenda for [audiences] to take anything specific out of it. Everybody takes something different, and this is what I’m most proud of,” But even though the story inspires different people in different ways, “My main hope is that you become compassionate not because there are sad things in the movie that are going to make you feel sorry for someone, but because it makes you ponder those things that connect us all.” 

Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions

The Prophet” is based on Kahlil Gibran‘s 1923 book of prose poems on life, death, love and everything in-between. It’s not a traditional narrative, so Hayek had the idea of creating a central story that would connect the poems, and from there a diverse group of animators interpreted the poems each in their own way.

“We used nine different animators,” Hayek reveals. “Roger Allers does the animation for the main story, and then every single one of those eight animators, who are some of the very best in the world, were chosen. We made sure there were men and women, different ages, that they come from different religious backgrounds, different countries … and we gave them complete freedom for interpretation.”

Those animators included Oscar-winner Joan C. Gratz, Oscar-nominees Tomm Moore and Bill Plympton, and Emmy-nominees Gaetan and Paul Brizzi, along with Mohammed Saeed Harib, Nina Paley, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha. Hayek feels their unique styles bring a unique sense of “freedom” to the poems that couldn’t have been captured with live-action: “What really gets you in the heart and in the subconscious, it’s the poems, the visuals and the music.”

Hayek ultimately believes the film is both “timeless and timely” because of how it expresses a much-needed feeling of human connection. “It doesn’t matter what religion you come from, where you come from, what color you are, what age you are,” she says. “We all have to confront death, love, we all have to eat, we all have to drink. It boils it down to the things about humanity that make us all one.”

Discuss all of this year’s Oscar races with Hollywood insiders in our forums

What do you think will win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars? Make your predictions using the menu to the right or below. 

You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Oscar nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

Salma Hayek photo credit: Theo Kingma/REX

“Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” photo credit: GKIDS

More News from GoldDerby