Salma Hayek was not allowed to read the Eternals script until she officially signed on to play Ajak. The actress went on to admit that she knew nothing about the comics before signing on. Marvel Studios is known for their ability to keep secrets and bring actors and crew members on board who are good at keeping their lips sealed. Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo used to be pretty bad at keeping everything under wraps, but they have since had a few sit down meetings with Kevin Feige to make sure they don’t leak any further secrets.
Salma Hayek, who is new to the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, received a crash course in keeping secrets when she started negotiations to play Ajak in the upcoming Eternals movie. As it turns out, Hayek didn’t have a whole lot of comic book experience and didn’t even know who the Eternals were before signing on. To make things worse, Hayek wasn’t allowed to read the script. She explains.
“I didn’t know anything about it. I’m very lucky. I have a Mexican friend and she’s a female, who’s the biggest Marvel geek that you can imagine. My problem was, I was sworn to secrecy because I was one of the first people that they hired, but I had to keep it in a secret for a long, long time. So, when I had the call, I said to them, ‘I confess. Eventually I will know everything that there is to know, but what are the Eternals? Do they exist in comics? I don’t know who’s Ajak.’ And then they explained everything to me. They explained me the script. They didn’t give me the script. I had to sign the contract without reading the script. They wouldn’t let me see the script until I signed. That was very unsettling.”
While signing on to a project without reading the script is a bit of a gamble, Salma Hayek knew she was in good hands. Marvel Studios has a great track record, especially when it comes to expanding their universe past the well-known characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Captain America. Plus, Hayek was already a fan of director Chloe Zhao. The actress had this to say about signing on to the Eternals movie without reading a script.
“I was scared. But it doesn’t matter because I’m going to tell you why I didn’t care. I love the director. She’s brilliant. And then I like that [Ajak] is kind of the leader. She’s the only one that can talk to the Celestials. And I said, ‘I’ll get to be bossy on this one, too. I can play that.’ Giving instructions, telling people what to do, I can do that.”
Salma Hayek was initially scared to take on the Eternals, but that didn’t last long. With that being said, there were a whole new set of challenges awaiting the actress when she first showed up on set. “Then I was afraid of the outfit. I’m claustrophobic. I was very afraid that I was going to feel like I couldn’t move,” she recalled. Once again, it was something that Hayek was able to adapt to after some time in her suit on the set with the cast and crew.
As for what MCU fans can expect when Eternals is finally released, Salma Hayek promises that it is different from anything else the studio has put out. “It has a completely different DNA from the [other Marvel movies]. It’s shot different than all the other ones,” Hayek said, before revealing that they shied away from studio shooting and spent a lot of time in real places. “They found some crazy extraterrestrial-looking locations. I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about what they do with the camera, but… it’s not mostly done in post. The cinematography is incredible,” teases the actress. You can read the rest of the interview with Salma Hayek over at Variety.