The newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Eternals,” focuses on an immortal alien race who have secretly lived on the Earth for thousands of years. After the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” the Eternals must protect humanity from their counterparts, the sinister Deviants.
Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao, best known for “Nomadland,” assembled a robust and diverse cast for the upcoming superhero blockbuster. Among the “Eternals” team roster are Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry.
The cast also includes Salma Hayek as Ajak, the wise leader of the Eternals who has the ability to heal among other powers and who is originally male in the Marvel Comics series. Known for roles in dramas such as “Frida,” as well as genre hits “Desperado” and “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” Hayek almost didn’t take the role of Ajak because she was afraid she would have to play a smaller supporting part (via Entertainment Weekly). However, she was excited about the character’s impact on the story.
At a recent press event that Looper attended, Hayek revealed to us why her part in “Eternals” made her want to cry.
Salma Hayek is proud of the Latino representation she brings to the role of Ajak
When asked about how she felt about representing the Latino community in “Eternals” at the press event, Salma Hayek said, “It’s a really humbling experience” to play Ajak, the leader of the titular superhero team. She continued, “But, in my big dreams, I wanted to be a superhero, and I wanted to work with the best directors in the world have big, glossy movies, and also movies that are art made from a very deep place with great directors” and “you fight for it in your 20s, in your 30s, and in your 40s, you go, ‘Oh, screw them! They don’t get it!’ You know?”
Hayek also explained that playing Ajak now as a 50-something performer is vindicating. She shared during the press conference that it is “very humbling when, in the middle of your 50s, a brilliant director gives you the opportunity to do both. To do something that comes from a deep place and also a big blockbuster. I was wrong. Everything is possible, and it’s such a humbling sensation.”
The actress commented that knowing young Latinos will get to see her as Ajak makes her want to cry because they will see themselves on the screen after being poorly represented in mainstream film for so long.
She went on to detail an experience she had at the premiere of “Eternals” just one day before the press event: “Yesterday, when I came out, I nearly cried because I saw this Latino family, a mother and her little girls, all dressed like Ajak, and I was trying to be sexy, and then I stopped, and I wanted to cry. It was so, so moving, you know?”
Marvel’s “Eternals” will open exclusively in theaters on November 5.