Eternals: Salma Hayek Thought Marvel Was Offering Her A Grandmother Role

Eternals star Salma Hayek wasn't sure about signing on for the film at first because she thought Marvel was offering her a grandmother role. In an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, the actress talked about her entry into the MCU. A bunch of different talent was on the shortlist for the latest Marvel Studios production. But, for Hayek, there was going to have to be some extra incentives to take that meeting. In the film, she will play Ajak, the leader of the Eternals. But, when the request for a conversation came down, she believed she would be a stunt casting gag or something. All of that skepticism changed once she heard that Chloe Zhao was attached, things quickly escalated. In previous comic book films, it would not be uncommon to see some very popular actress play a supporting role alongside a hero. But, Hayek and her fellow Eternals are front and center for all the wild action over the course of this project.

"I said, 'Forget it,'" Hayek laughed remembering the story. "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, 'Okay! Let's have the meeting!'"

An appreciation for what Marvel does, but also not leaping in initially seems to be a theme among some of the Phase 4 newcomers. Kit Harington will also be making his MCU debut in Eternals. His Dane Whitman didn't show up a ton in the massive trailer that the studio dropped this morning. But, he recently told Sirius XM that he was excited about being a part of the MCU. A huge reason for that would be Zhao's directing as well.

"I'm a big fan of the MCU. So when they come knocking it's very exciting," Harington said during the appearance. "The character, I won't go into why he interests me, because it's more than my life is worth to tell you. But what did interest me about that piece was that it as Chloe Zhao directing. I met her and spoke with her and was so impressed by her. The cast was sort of phenomenal and wide-ranging and diverse. It just looked like they were doing something really different with this movie. I can't tell you much about it but we filmed it pre-pandemic. And it's coming out finally, it was sort of frustrating that it got pushed back so much. But now I'll be going on and doing some press for that soon and it's really exciting."

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