Miramax Salma Hayek Pinault in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Salma Hayek Pinault is looking back on her iconic striptease scene.
The actress stars opposite Channing Tatum in Magic Mike's Last Dance, her first entry and his third in the big-screen stripper franchise. Speaking with PEOPLE, Hayek Pinault, 56, points out that she and Tatum, 42, both had career-defining moments involving provocative dancing.
"Channing and I share one experience: We both did a dance that we didn't think was going to be much — me From Dusk Till Dawn and him in Magic Mike — and it's something that really changed our careers," she says.
In 1996's From Dusk Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino, the actress played Santanico Pandemonium, a dancer described in the vampire film as the "most sinister woman to ever dance on the face of this earth."
She's introduced via a sultry striptease routine, one that has costars George Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis looking on from the audience and a moment with Hayek Pinault's foot literally in Tarantino's mouth at one point. The show-stopping moment also saw the actress dancing with a large snake slithering on her shoulders.
Joyce Podell/Los Hooligans/A Band Apart/Kobal/Shutterstock Salma Hayek Pinault in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
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Hayek Pinault, who earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for 2002's Frida, tells PEOPLE she related to her Magic Mike's Last Dance character and her struggle she sees as all too common.
"I think a lot of women identify and relate with feeling undermined and feeling like you have things to do and say and just feel like you're not taken serious sometimes by your own family, or in her case, the husband and her friends," says the actress. "And [when] people kind of give up on you and you feel you have more potential but you're not in the right circumstances. And finding the power to go for it."
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She adds, "I don't think there's a woman that has not had that problem in her life. And by the way — there's a lot of men too."
"You have your ups and downs and you just got to... It's okay to have your downs," she continues. "Then you got to push through again and find the strength to believe in yourself and to go for the things that will make you happy."
Magic Mike's Last Dance is in theaters Feb. 10.