Salma Hayek was "afraid" of marriage.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

The 48-year-old actress married François-Henri Pinault in February 2009, almost two years after they got engaged but he had to pop the question three times before she accepted his proposal.

She said: "You must overcome fear to feel free and discover your strengths. I used to have a phobia of snakes and you can see me dancing with my biggest fear in 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.

"I was also afraid of the dark. And of marriage. And here I am, married.

"But I am ashamed to admit how many times he had to ask me. Three times! That was the biggest fear I've ever overcome."

The 'Frida' star - who has seven-year-old daughter Valentina with the French tycoon - hailed her husband as the "love of her life" and she adores the fact he likes to "look after" her.

She added to Spanish newspaper El País: "I'm married to the love of my life. He is an amazing man, self-confident and feminist, who likes strong women and also knows how to take care of them.

"There are a lot of strong women with power and determination that when we got home we like to have someone to look after us and take over the reins."

And despite living in London, Valentina doesn't feel particularly English as she doesn't hear the language very much at home.

Salma said: "It is very interesting because my family only speaks Spanish. François only speaks French. The only English that Valentina has heard was mine and François'. He also speaks Spanish with my family.

"Valentina has a strong yankee feeling. Last 4th of July, she requires us to celebrate Independence Day with burgers and fries. Even in London, where we live, she refuses to speak with British accent"

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