She might be turning 55 in 2 weeks but Salma Hayek is breaking new ground at this age. With exciting new projects in the pipeline like Hitman’s Bodyguard sequel, Marvel’s Eternals, and the Lady Gaga-Adam Driver film House of Gucci, Salma Hayek is about to own 2021.
Busy on a manic promotional schedule, Hayek recently spoke to EW and revealed that when she was first approached by Marvel about starring in one of their projects, she was wary because she assumed they would probably offer her to play the role of a grandmother.
Recalling her first contact with the studio, Hayek said, “‘Forget it.’ [laughs], God knows what kind of grandmother they want me to play.” During the interview, she revealed that she expected a pretty minor role. Hayek even counted the possibilities of playing an old prost*tute.
“I’m used to being [told] I’m going to be the extra or the old prostitute. And then they said the director was Chloé Zhao, and I said, ‘Okay! Let’s have the meeting!'”
Hayek is appearing in Eternals as Ajak, the leader of the group. Sharing more about her experience from the film, she said “When they called me, I thought they were going to say, ‘Okay you are gonna be in a Marvel movie. You play the grandma!’ Then I find out I am a superhero, and Chloé [the director] tells me that I’m the leader. And I ask, “‘Is it because I’m older?’ But no, there’s no age. Ajak is not human, so that was really cool,”
Hayek, 54, is playing the role of Ajak, who is one of the prime members of the Eternals and the leader of the titular immortals. The Mexico-born actress said, “I was shocked. Imagine in your 50s you get a call from this director that you’re crazy about, who says, ‘You’re going to be a superhero.”
She says that it never crossed her mind to be in a Marvel movie and thought that the boat had already sailed. Salma believes it’s really hard to be an action hero if you’re a Mexican and a woman.
She commented that The Eternals was an experience like none other as swearing to secrecy was no easy job for her. “You want to call your mother, father, friends from school in Mexico. You want to tell your husband and daughter immediately, I’m gonna be in a Marvel movie. You want to tell your stepchildren. I was on the set of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, and Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds were talking superheroes, you know, Marvel talk, and I couldn’t say anything!”
Eternals will be introducing a total of 10 Marvel superheroes in the MCU. Along with Hayek, the rest of the cast includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, and Harish Patel
Eternals is scheduled to release on November 5 and would be the third film of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4