Not content to settle for the comparatively meager rewards of superstardom, Mexican-style, Hayek set her confident sights on Hollywood, and moved north in 1991. What followed thereafter was a taxing period of adjustment, beginning with an 18-month hiatus from acting that was primarily occupied with English lessons. Also during that period, Hayek studied acting under famed dramatician Stella Adler, and taught herself to drive a car: two days of stick-shift driving convinced her to switch to automatic, and she slowly acquainted herself with the tangled maze of L.A.'s freeways by continually requesting directions from her more streetwise friends via her trusty cellular phone. Hayek's first big break came in 1993, when she spent four months auditioning for a headlining role in Allison Anders's girlz-'n'-the-hood drama Mi Vida Loca. Anders eventually cast another actress in the desired-for lead assignment, but Hayek's tenacity so impressed the director that she gave her a smaller part in the film for the express purpose of enabling the promising young actress to qualify for membership in the Screen Actors Guild.