'Eternals' Superhero Role A 'Humbling Experience' For Salma Hayek

Lindsay Cronin

Salma Hayek had given up on the possibility of starring as a superhero long before she landed the role of Ajak in Marvel's Eternal, the recently premiered "huge blockbuster” from director Chloe Zhao.

While speaking of the film at a recent press conference, the 55-year-old actress admitted that after struggling to land a role in a superhero film for not years, but decades, she was shocked to learn that she was finally achieving her dream.

“You struggle for it in your 20s, in your 30s,” she said while promoting the film, via IWM Buzz.

Age Was A Factor

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“‘Screw that, they don’t get it,’ you say in your forties," she explained.

According to Hayek, she believes that no one would give her a fair shot at a superhero role due to her age.

"They don’t give me anything, you know. I’d have been fantastic. You’ve seen the art films, right? I would have made an excellent superhero, but they didn’t see it. We’ll ignore them and go do something else," Hayek recalls of her past though process about the idea.

Humbled By 'Eternals' Role

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Although Hayek once believed she would never achieve her superhero dreams, she ultimately got the chance to appear in Eternals by Zhao herself.

"When a terrific director gives you the opportunity to do something that comes from a deep place and is also a big blockbuster in your 50s, it’s incredibly humbling," she admitted. "I was mistaken. It is possible to achieve anything. And it’s a truly humbling experience."

Looking back at her career endeavors prior to landing the role, Hayek said she was hesitant to audition for superhero roles because she feared she'd be cast as an extra or “the old prostitute.”

Initially Not Sure Of 'Eternals' Role

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But after Zhao entered the picture, her life was changed.

That said, Hayek didn't initially understand what type of role she'd have in Eternals and confessed to thinking the worse about what her experience in the film would be like. In fact, she first considered turning down a role in the Marvel project.

“I said, ‘Forget it,'” Hayek recounted. “‘God only knows what type of grandmother they want me to play,’ I explained. I’m used to being told I’ll play an extra or an elderly prostitute."

Loved Being a Part of 'Eternals'

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"Then they said Chloe Zhao was the director, and I said, ‘OK!’ Let’s get this meeting started,'" Hayek reveled. "I love it that I’m in the one Marvel film that is truly unique and different from all the others."

Hayek may have once felt as if she was beyond her acting prime, at least in terms of superhero films. But now, after appearing as Ajak in Eternals, she knows that when it comes to her future roles, anything is possible, no matter what her age.