Salma Hayek says she was ‘shocked’ to land Marvel role

Salma Hayek is one of the latest stars to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Frida actress, 55, will be making her MCU debut playing Ajak in Eternals. In a new interview with AARP, Salma admitted that she was surprised to land the role in the highly-anticipated film.

Salma Hayek plays Ajak in Marvel Studios’ ‘Eternals’©Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Salma Hayek plays Ajak in Marvel Studios’ ‘Eternals’

“I was shocked to get that role in my 50s,” she confessed. “I felt a sense of gratitude and excitement, not only for this but for what it meant about the possibilities for the future.”

Per AARP, Academy Award winner and Eternals director Chloé Zhao noted that Salma is perfect for the role. “Ajak is the leader. She is full of wisdom and very perceptive — a mother figure to all the Eternals,” Chloé said.

Salma plays the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, who is a man in the comics. “Chloé decided to tackle the concept of leadership from the perspective of motherhood… I’m not a mother. I’m an alien. I can‘t have kids,” Salma previously told Total Film (via “However, my character used to be a man in the comics, now it’s a woman. So instead of just changing the gender, I proposed to [Zhao] to really bring something that is very specific to womanhood.”

Eternals, which also stars Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee and Kit Harington, “follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man,” per the film’s official synopsis. “When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.”

Eternals opens in theaters Nov. 5

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