Salma Hayek teases Ajak in The Eternals: "I get to be the leader"

Millicent Thomas
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Before Groot was a household name, the Guardians of the Galaxy were alien to many movie fans. Yet, Star Lord’s gang of misfits are now fan favorites, and Marvel Studios are hoping to give another lesser-known group of cosmic heroes the same treatment in Marvel Phase 4. The Eternals boasts a stellar cast featuring Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek and more. In the latest issue of our sister publication Total Film, Hayek – in a career-spanning interview – discusses her MCU debut.

The Mexian-American actress has spent three decades blazing the trail for Latino actors, and now she’s got her sights set on becoming an iconic Latino superhero. “At 53 – finally! – I can be a superhero,” Hayek tells TF. “I play Ajak, who is the leader of the superheroes and all of them are people you would never have imagined. Except for Angelina [Jolie]. Angelina – she was born to be a superhero!” 

Jolie plays Thena, a fierce warrior Eternal, but like the rest of the heroes, they will look to Ajak as their leader. The superpowered race have existed for millions of years, having been granted their abilities by the Celestials (a name mentioned before in Guardians of the Galaxy). The Eternals – who made their comic-book debut in 1976 – were later revived in Thor: The Eternals Saga, and fought alongside the Norse God to prevent Odin from attacking the Celestials; a story we can only hope to see a few phases down the line.

(Image credit: Marvel)

As with any Marvel project, however, the cast are keeping their lips shut tight. But Hayek can’t contain her excitement, “The rest of us [Eternals] are like misfits, and we’re all superheroes, and I get to be the leader. That sounds really appropriate! Yes, why not? Let’s go! It just made me feel like, ‘Maybe they’re doing something different.’ And they are.”

Discussing what attracted her most to the movie, Hayek points to director Chloé Zhao. “The director is amazing. Did you see her first movie? The Rider? I was blown away,” she says. Zhao impressed audiences in 2017 with her sophomore feature, a contemporary western which explores a young cowboy’s journey of self-discovery after a near-fatal accident ends his professional riding career. “The one thing that excited me the most was the director,” Hayek insists. “She’s incredible.”

Earlier this year, The Eternals synopsis was revealed along with the mysterious villains. It reads: "Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them [The Eternals] out of the shadows to reunite against mankind&aposs most ancient enemy, The Deviants." If you’re wondering who on earth The Deviants are, we’ve got you covered.

The Eternals is set to hit cinemas November this year, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with any changes. You can read the full interview with Hayek, as well as our cover feature on Marvel&aposs Black Widow, in the new issue of Total Film, out now. 

(Image credit: Total Film/Disney)

If you can’t make it to the shops, you can order a copy of the print magazine from MyFavouriteMagazines.co.uk. You can also subscribe to Total Film digitally on your tablet, and there’s currently an offer that allows you to get your first five digital issues for just £5/$5/€5. Head to MyFavouriteMagazines.co.uk/march206/ to sign up (Black Widow issue available from April 3). Terms and conditions apply, offer runs until April 30, 2020. 

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