- Salma Hayek said she insisted on a few traits for her “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” character.
- The actress said she fought for her character, Sonia, to be in her 50s and experiencing menopause.
- Hayek said that it was important to show an older woman participating in action sequences, too.
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“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” star Salma Hayek said that she fought for her character to be older than originally intended.
“It was conceived as maybe a girl in her 40s, but the truth is that I said ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Let’s make it a woman in her 50s and I think we should make it about her having to do all this action while she’s going through menopause,” Hayek said during a virtual appearance on the latest episode of “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch.
Hayek first portrayed Sonia Kincaid, the wife of Samuel L. Jackson‘s titular hitman, in 2017’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” though her character spent most of the film in a prison cell.
In the sequel, released on June 16, her character is more prevalent as she teams up with Ryan Reynolds‘ bodyguard. In the movie, she openly talks about her desire to start a family and even beats up a man for calling her old.
Hayek, who has personally experienced symptoms of menopause in real life since her 40s, said that she “had to convince some people” to modify the character in the ways she suggested for the sequel.
“And they were like, ‘Do we have to say the word [menopause]?’ And I’m like, ‘It doesn’t matter about words. What matters is that we go through it,'” the actress recalled.
Hayek said that it was important to explicitly include such characteristics because it shows that “there’s no expiration date for women,” especially in action films.
“That has to go because you can kick ass at any age, hold your own at any age,” she said. “You can dream at any age. You can be romantic at any age. We have the right to be loved for who we are at the place that we are. We’re not just here to make babies, we’re not just here to baby the men. We’re not just here to service everything and everyone around up.”
The actress previously alluded to giving input regarding her character’s journey in the sequel during a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune.
“For me, it was important that we didn’t change her age,” she said. “In action films, the men are allowed to age, but this is one of the few times where you’re seeing a middle-age woman as a lead in an action film. It’s not a common thing, but I got my way.”