Hayek talks red carpet activism at Cannes

CANNES, France – When Salma Hayek walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet holding up the sign “Bring Back Our Girls,” the cast of “The Expendables” followed suit the next night – even if some of them didn’t know what the slogan was about.

“I remember Victor (Ortiz) was like, ‘What were those signs?’ and I had to fill him in,'” actor Kellan Lutz of his co-star. Ortiz, Hayek and others helped spread the message, a plea for the return of nearly 300 girls kidnapped in Nigeria by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, by using one of the most famous media events in the world. The “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign has become a hashtag on Twitter and championed by luminaries including U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.

Hayek held up the sign as she walked the red carpet for her animated film “The Prophet.” She said it was not out of character.

“I was always involved in women’s rights before I was a celebrity,” she said.