- Salma Hayek talked about her role as Ajak in “Eternals” at a press conference held on Tuesday.
- The actress said that, as a Mexican woman in her 50s, it’s “humbling” to play a superhero.
- “I’m short with big boobs, it’s not the normal superhero,” she said. “I’m not muscly.”
“It’s a really humbling experience because I dream big,” Hayek, 55, said while answering a question regarding on-screen representation, submitted by Impacto Latino, at an “Eternals” press conference held on Tuesday.
“I dream big and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten here at all,” Hayek said. “But 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. You cannot ask for more.”
Hayek’s acting career began in her home country of Mexico, where she starred on the telenovela “Teresa.” In the ’90s, she made the jump to Hollywood, starring in films like “Desperado” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”
Now, she has her own production company called Ventanarosa and is vocal about playing complex characters who deal with taboo subjects, like menopause.
“Eternals” marks Hayek’s Marvel debut, portraying a leader and maternal immortal named Ajak. The character is a gender-flipped version of the one that originated in Marvel Comics.
At the press conference, Hayek said that despite years of being a working actress, she didn’t have the opportunity to work on a project that’s simultaneously large-scale and grounded. And over time, she gave up on the possibility.
“It didn’t happen that much for me,” the actress said. “And so you fight for it in your 20s, in your 30s, and in your 40s. You go, ‘Oh, screw 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 and they didn’t see it. Screw them, I’m gonna go do something else!'”
Hayek continued: “It’s very humbling when, in the middle of your 50s, a brilliant director gives you the opportunity to do both, to do something that comes from a deep place that is also a big blockbuster. I was wrong. Everything is possible.”
The “Frida” star said that it’s especially “humbling” as a Mexican woman in her 50s, who may not fit the traditional image of a superhero.
“I’m short with big boobs, it’s not the normal superhero,” Hayek said. “I’m not muscly, I don’t look like that. I don’t have botox. I’m doing well, but no, it’s real.”
Hayek, who is of Mexican, Lebanese, and Arab descent, also said she was surprised that she was allowed to do her own punches for “Eternals.”
“They were not afraid of the insurance, that grandma was gonna break in the middle,” she joked.