In a candid interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Salma Hayek opened up about her dyslexia: “I have an accent, am dyslexic, short, and chubby. You name it, I have it, but I am here. I must be the luckiest girl in the world to be working.”
Hayek was diagnosed with dyslexia during her teen years in Mexico, but was determined to pursue her acting dreams. Although her learning disability made certain aspects of her job more challenging, it helped her in other ways.
“Some people read really fast, but you’ll ask them questions about the script and they’ll forget,” she said. “I take a long time to read a script, but I read it only once. I directed a movie, and I never brought the script to set.”
From an outsider’s perspective, it may appear that Bella Thorne lives the perfect teenage life. But beyond the glitzy clothes, glam parties, and glamorous roles, Thorne struggles with a very real problem: dyslexia.
“I have learned to live with it and make the best of it,” she told DoSomething.org, “I was told to read everything from street signs to cereal boxes, and that my mom shouldn’t read the menu for me. I should read it to her! It has helped a great deal. I am reading well, but it's something I work on every day.”
The handsome Brit, who’s part Spanish, revealed to Vogue UK that he’s grappled with dyslexia his entire life. His learning disability is what eventually pushed him into a creative field. At first, he considered a career in music, and he learned to play the trumpet. Eventually, he decided acting was the best choice for him.
“I struggled with dyslexia when I was young,” he said. “So, I knew that whatever I did, it wouldn’t be academic. Then playing Agamemnon [in a school play] -- well at the age of 12 -- I thought, ‘I rather like being the center of attention, this is where I want to be.’”
Actor Edward James Olmos referred to his dyslexia during a talk at Rollins College. He self-described as a “kid from LA with dyslexia.”
Despite the learning difficulty, Olmos enrolled at East Los Angeles College, taking several classes in acting. His original dream was to pursue a career in music, but he later branched out into film. Nowadays, the “kid from LA with dyslexia” is one of the most beloved, talented, and accomplished actors and directors in the business.
Michelle Rodriguez admitted to Cosmopolitan in 2006 that she struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). She said that her ADD may prevent her from pursuing her dreams of working behind the camera.
“I want to write and direct,” she told the magazine. “But it’s not easy with ADD. I have a hard time focusing when I’m alone. I’m a scatterbrain, but I’m nervous of taking medication. I don’t really want to depend on anything to control my brain.”