Eternals’ Salma Hayek explains she was overcome with emotion when filming wrapped because of what her superhero role as Ajak means to so many people.
Salma Hayek got emotional when Eternals wrapped filming. Written and directed by Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao, the Phase 4 film is expected to deviate from many norms previously established by Marvel. For starters, Eternals will follow an ancient team of superheroes called the Celestials who have been living on Earth for multiple millennia and have secretly shaped the course of human history. Given the film’s obscure source material, not much else has been confirmed about the plot, other than the Celestials banding together to ward off an evil race of space gods known as the Deviants.
Unlike the MCU’s solo films, Eternals will truly be an ensemble piece. The film’s titular team includes heroes played by Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan, and Game of Thrones alum, Richard Madden and Kit Harrington. The Eternals are led by Ajak, a character who is originally male in Marvel’s comics, but will swap genders for the feature film adaptation. In the past, Hayek has discussed how difficult it is to be cast in action movies as a 50-year-old Mexican woman, and now she is opening up even more about how much her first role as a superhero means to her.
In an interview with USA Today, Hayek talked about her transition from an Oscar-nominated actress for Frida to an action star at 50 years of age. Though Hayek got her start with action films like Desperado, she categorizes her early action roles as “the damsel in distress.” But now, Hayek will take a turn as a full-on action hero in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Eternals to follow. Hayek never thought she’d be cast in a Marvel movie, but this isn’t totally why she was overcome with emotion when Eternals wrapped filming. Read what Hayek said below:
Something strange happened. I teared up a little bit. But it was not about my dreams to be a superhero. It was because it means so much to so many people that, to think that for a Mexican girl – a Mexican woman in her 50s – was able to be a superhero. I felt a lot of pride to have my superhero outfit on. It meant something.
While Hayek’s recollection of the moment she wrapped filming Eternals over a year ago is certainly emotional and inspiring, she doesn’t look back on the entire experience with fondness. Hayek admits to feeling claustrophobic in her restricting superhero suit and terrified of the costume’s gold headpiece that had to be guarded like a precious jewel. However, Hayek says the entire experience was worth it.
With multiple releases being delayed to 2021, Hayek is poised for perhaps the biggest year of her career. After Hayek’s two big-budget action films, she will be seen in House of Gucci alongside Lady Gaga, whose performance Hayek has gushed over. The 50-year-old Mexican actress is one among many of Eternals’ diverse cast, which also includes Marvel’s first LGBTQ and deaf heroes, which will represent and inspire many.