The stars were working together on 1995's Desperado when the actress fell for two apes that were initially part of the film - and Banderas decided to buy them for his co-star as a birthday gift.

Hayek, who turned 49 on Wednesday (02Sep15), was treated to a birthday cake and a pinata during her appearance on U.S. chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday (01Sep15), but she confessed the surprise didn't come close to her best present.

She explained, "I had fallen in love with these two monkeys that were supposed to be in the movie Desperado and then they got cut out. I was spending all my time with them and they were gonna take them away and I was sobbing because they were actually staying with me. I was devastated.

"The next day was my birthday and he (Banderas) gave me this big box and my monkeys came out of it. He gave me the monkeys... They lived for a long time and very happily."

Hayek called the apes Carolina and Mariachi after the characters she and Banderas played in the cult 1995 film and admits the male became her pal, but the female was "a witch".

The actress adds, "Mariachi was so nice to me, he was kinda in love with me; he wanted to be with me all the time and of course Carolina was jealous. That witch was awful to me; she was so possessive. She'd go crazy when we were hugging, and so we had a little bit of a (love) triangle."