Salma Hayek thought Marvel would offer her a ‘grandmother’ role in ‘Eternals’

Salma Hayek is making her Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut this fall in “Eternals” alongside Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and more — but she almost did not take the job.

Hayek told Entertainment Weekly that when Marvel first called the Oscar-nominated actress to discuss the project, she initially assumed that they wanted her to play an older, grandma-type supporting role.

“Forget it,” the buxom 54-year-old said when she first heard Marvel wanted to meet with her. “I said, ‘God knows what kind of grandmother they want me to play.’ 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, ‘OK! Let’s have the meeting!’ ”

Hayek soon learned that Zhao personally selected her to play Ajak, one of the most important members of the Eternals and a character originally intended for a man.

When news of the “Frida” star’s casting in the movie broke, she took to Instagram to share the good news.

“I’m so excited to join the Marvel family as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals,” she wrote. “It used to be the father of all Eternals, but girls … this is OUR time!!!!”

Hayek, a Mexican-American actress, wasn’t the only diverse casting choice. The masculine, burly, blonde speedster Makkari is being played by hearing-impaired actress and “The Walking Dead” alum Lauren Ridloff.

“That really impressed me, how diverse the cast was [in early drafts],” Zhao told EW. “Not just in terms of gender, race, age, but overall, I could see the desire to reflect the world that we live in, as much as possible … What was most important to me was actually to be able to tell a story and to craft characters to be as individual as possible, and to really showcase what’s underneath the surface of what they look like and what they represent. These are unique, flawed, and complicated individuals, just like you and I. That’s what drew me to these actors. That’s what drew me to the story of each of the characters.”

“The Eternals” is set to be the first movie in Phase Four of the MCU and is scheduled to premiere in theaters Nov. 5.


New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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