When Marvel called to offer Salma Hayek a role in “Eternals,” she was “terrified.”
The announcement that Salma Hayek will play Ajak in Marvel’s upcoming film Eternals sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. Hayek is one of only a few Latino actors to land a major role in a Marvel film, and her casting exemplifies the studio’s efforts to diversify its offerings.
Hayek, who is known for her emotional performances in both drama and comedy films, had no idea Marvel was interested in casting her in the film at first. The Oscar nominee had no intention of being in a Marvel film and recently admitted that she was “terrified” when she received the call for her part.
Salma Hayek had no intention of appearing in a Marvel film.
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With a career spanning more than 30 years, Hayek has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most dependable actors. Despite her involvement in many popular Hollywood film franchises, she recently confessed to Variety that she had never considered acting in a Marvel film.
“Being in a Marvel film never occurred to me. I suppose I assumed the boat had sailed, and it came as a complete surprise. ‘They want to talk to you about a new franchise,’ I got a call out of nowhere. ‘What?’ I exclaimed. And I said, ‘OK,’ but they don’t tell you anything until you’re on the phone with them.”
When she was first asked for ‘Eternals,’ she was frightened.
Marvel’s decision to transform Ajak, who had previously been a male character, into a female character and cast Hayek in the role was a significant one. It demonstrates the studio’s desire to give minority actors, especially women of color, more opportunities. In the same interview, Hayak discussed Marvel’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“I think that there are people in power who have wanted this change for a long time,” Hayek said. “But it takes a lot of elements… This is a condensed version of the plot. I hope you found it entertaining.