"I'm aware that he would say anything to attract attention and create the publicity around him," the Mexico-born actress told me while promoting her new animated film Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (more on that in a second). "If something generates publicity, I would never be surprised about anything he does."
Hayek refuses to "say his name" because she doesn't want to give the presidential hopeful any "extra publicity."
"I'd be surprised if he did something courageous and meaningful that nobody found out about," she said. "This was not courageous and meaningful."
However, she does appreciate that his remarks helped bring more attention to issues around race and discrimination. "At least he brought a light to a real problem," Hayek said.
The Prophet is adapted from Kahlil Gibran's book of the same name. Not only did Hayek produce the movie, but she also stars in it alongside Quvenzhané Wallis and Liam Neeson. The eight segments of the film were directed by eight different directors.
A cinematic tapestry of music, poetry and art, the film deals with such topics as love and death, childre and parenting.
Hayek's seven-year-old daughter Valentina Pinault wrote a poem after watching the movie with some friends.
"My daughter came home and wrote a poem about how we are spirits and nothing can incarcerate us, not even our own bodies because our spirit is free and because we are free and we are spirits, we never die. We are eternal," Hayek said, adding, "We underestimate kids. They are profound thinkers."
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 7 followed by a national release later in the month.