21 May 2021: Salma Hayek talks about 'Eternals', COVID-19 battle, Harvey Weinstein
Looks like Hollywood icon Salma Hayek has a lot on her plate. The Frida star has some exciting projects lined up, including Marvel's Eternals, Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, and an interesting HBO series called A Boob's Life. In a recent interview, she talks about her battle with COVID-19, her Mexican heritage, playing a Marvel superhero at 54, and her harrowing encounter with Harvey Weinstein.
Health: 'It was so bad,' Hayek on contracting COVID-19
Hayek, who's still recovering from a near-fatal case of COVID-19, revealed it was an extremely challenging time for her. "My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad," she said. "I said, 'No, thank you. I'd rather die at home.'" The star was quarantined at her home for seven weeks, and was also put on oxygen at one point.
Marvel: First to be cast in Marvel's 'Eternals'
Moving onto her projects, Hayek told Variety that she was the first to be cast in Eternals, and she had to remain tight-lipped about it. "I couldn't wait for the day that I could say it," she gushed. When asked about her character, Hayek said Marvel approached her to play Ajak, and she was surprised. Reason? In the comics, Ajak is a man!
Struggle: 'It's hard to be an action hero if you're Mexican'
Hayek is a superstar now, but Hollywood wasn't always kind to her. She was discriminated for being Mexican. "It's hard to be an action hero if you're Mexican. It's really hard to be an action hero if you're Mexican and woman. But to be an action hero, being Mexican, woman, and my age, it felt like they were punking me," she said about Eternals.
Fact: They wouldn't even give me the auditions, Hayek recalls
"They wouldn't even give me the auditions. We tried really hard. I said I know I can do drama, but what about romantic comedies and action comedies?" she recalls, adding, "For them, it was like, 'Oh, no, she's just like a sexy Mexican.'"
Projects: Hayek's deal with HBO Max promises several exciting projects
Apart from Eternals, she has multiple projects, including A Boob's Life. This focuses on a woman who finds out that her breasts start talking to her. Valentine, also upcoming, is about a Mexican teenager who gets raped by a White oil worker in Texas in the '70s. These are all products of a two-year first-look deal her company inked with HBO Max last year.
Depression: When she slipped into depression after writing about Weinstein ordeal
The Desperado actor also touched upon her article on disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, which she wrote in 2017 for The New York Times. She called the penning down process "excruciating," for which she went into depression. "It was hard because I chose not to be a victim even though I was. I had to convince myself I'm a fighter and above all, a survivor."
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