There are only two weeks left until Eternals is released in theatres, so excitement is running high. There’s a lot riding on the next Marvel Cinematic Universe picture, including crafting a story that spans 7000 years and introducing a whole new cast of characters. Even though most Marvel fans have never heard of the Eternals, the actors portraying these characters are everything but unknown. In addition to Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Richard Madden, and Salma Hayek, the project is directed by Chloé Zhao.
Hayek plays the character of Ajak, the ship’s matriarch and mother figure. For the Eternals, she serves as a spiritual leader, providing advice and acting as the moral compass in their diverse group. Almost everything about the project has now been made public (including a few spoilers for the end credits), but this was always the plan. And Hayek admits that keeping her MCU membership a secret wasn’t an easy one.
While filming The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie admitted to lying to keep their Marvel relationship a secret from Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson on the PhaseZero podcast. It was mentioned by Ajak actress that, as Deadpool had just been incorporated into MCU at the time, she denied Marvel’s involvement, but she concentrated on the two actors’ back and forth conversations while not revealing that she had been cast in a future Marvel film: “trying to listen, asking little questions and trying to learn.” Here’s what she really said;
“[Reynolds and Jackson] were asking questions to each other because Deadpool wasn’t [in the MCU], but now [he] is. And Ryan, he was entering and Sam is the expert, and I was just like, trying to listen, asking little questions and trying to learn.”I was not sitting with that self-confidence. was dying to brag! wanted them to know so badly. I Felt I was not all smiley. ‘Oh I wonder if I get fired if I just say it to these two’, you know.”
Samuel L. Jackson had “picked up [her] uneasiness, therefore Hayek’s ability to keep a secret was called into question at that point:
“And then one day I’m sitting with Sam right after they were talking about [the MCU]. And he goes ‘So, how much are they going to pay you?’… I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ He goes, ‘Come on. I’ve been watching you, and you’re in a Marvel movie, and you don’t want to say because they told you not to say it. It’s OK, I’m part of the family.’ It was incredible! He picked up my nervousness to brag.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to keeping information close to the vest. Salma Hayek’s relationship with co-stars Reynold and Jackson are difficult, as is shown in the film. She was sitting next to two superhero actors and couldn’t tell them she was going to be joining them under the Marvel umbrella.
It’s endearing that Sammy J sensed her trepidation when the MCU appeared and responded accordingly. There is no secret that the cast of Marvel movies is a close-knit brotherhood that will always be there for one another. For someone new to the world of comic book fare, both Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds can serve as excellent resources.
In contrast to Reynolds, who has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jackson is no stranger to the genre and will soon be starring in his own Secret Invasion series. There’s no doubt that Hayek could lean on the two of them for support as they navigate the Marvel minefield.
The performers become more relatable when they are immersed in stories like these. In the view of their admirers, these heroes are often elevated above the common man. Hayek’s brief soliloquy completely dismantles any preconceived notions the audience may have had about her because of her fame. Also, it’s great to watch Felicity Huffman thrilled about joining such a vast universe.