It’s a humbling experience to play a superhero in your 50s: Salma Hayek on her role as Ajak in ‘Eternals’ – Times of India

Hollywood star Salma Hayek says she is someone who “dreams big” and she was surprised to finally get to do ‘Eternals’, which fulfils her wish of playing a superhero in a blockbuster movie with a great director like Chloe Zhao. The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie revolves around the Eternals, an alien race living on Earth for over 7,000 years, who team up to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.

Hayek said she doesn’t look like a traditional superhero the audiences are used to watching on screen. She plays Ajak, the wise and spiritual leader at the heart of the story, who has the ability to heal and is the “bridge” between the Eternals and their creators called the Celestials.

“It’s a really humbling experience because, you know, I dream big. I dream big and if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have gotten here at all. In my big dreams, I wanted to be a superhero, and I wanted to work with the best directors in the world and have big blockbuster movies and also movies that are art, that are made from a very deep place with great directors,” Hayek said in a virtual press conference for the film from Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

“And it didn’t happen that much for me. So you fight for it in your 20s, in your 30s and in your 40s you go, ‘Oh, s*** them, they don’t get it, they missed out. I would have been great in the art films and I would have been a great superhero (but) they didn’t see it. S*** them, we’re gonna do something else. ‘Let’s have a baby!’,” the 55-year-old Mexican-American star quipped.

Hayek said she had given up on playing a superhero and then “Eternals” came her way.

“… Now it is very humbling when in the middle of your 50s, a brilliant director gives you the opportunity to do both: do something that comes from a deep place, that is also a big blockbuster. I was wrong. Everything is possible. And it’s a humbling sensation,” she added.

The star said she “almost cried” at the film’s premiere recently when she spotted three little girls of a Latino family dressed as her character.

The gender of Ajak, the character played by Hayek, was swapped from a man to a woman as Zhao said both she and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wanted a “mother figure” as the leader of the Eternals.

“And when you think about it, you know, in your 50s, (I’m) Mexican. I mean I’m short with big boobs, it’s not the normal superhero… I don’t have botox, I’m doing well but,” she said, pointing to a resounding laugh from the rest of the cast.

The actor said the team even let her do her own stunts in the movie.

When little girls around the world will see her play Ajak on screen, Hayek said they will remember “that everything is possible”.

The ensemble cast of ‘Eternals’ also includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, and Angelina Jolie.

The film is slated to be theatrically released in India on November 5 in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.


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