It never crossed my mind to be in a Marvel movie,” actress Salma Hayek told Variety in a recent interview. “I guess I thought that ship had sailed, and it was an absolute shock.”
Hayek reflected on her role in Marvel’s Eternals in an article that also covered her decision to take a hiatus from politics, her starring role in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, and her fight against COVID-19. She spoke of how difficult it is to be an action hero as a 54-year-old Mexican woman and how she had to keep the information that she had been cast for the role “for so many months.”
“For an action hero, being Mexican, a woman and my age, I felt like they were playing a prank on me,” Hayek said.
Hayek will take on the role of Ajak, a spiritual leader of the Eternals community on Earth who has superior strength, stamina, and speed. Ajak does not age and is able to communicate with the Celestials, an ancient race of entities present long before even the Asgardians. The character was originally created by Jack Kirby in 1976. Hayek says that she “knew the name” of her character, but did not initially look at the comics.
“When I saw the comics, it was a man,” he said.
Marvel’s Eternals is part of Phase 4 of the MCU and will be directed by Chloé Zhao, who recently won an Oscar for her work on Nomadland. It was “shot very differently” from most MCU movies, with a heavy emphasis on practical locations. Hayek praised Marvel Vice President of Film Production Victoria Alonso, saying “I couldn’t love this woman more” for her support of the cast.
“When people see me, and not just girls, minorities or even short people, anyone, I want them to think that even if things don’t seem like they can happen, anything can happen. But I don’t want it to be. based on that you have to suffer a lot and then eventually it will happen. I want it to be based on why not? ” Hayek said.