Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Salma Hayek felt like a mom on the set of ‘The Eternals’

NEW YORK (AP) – Salma Hayek laughs when asked if she ever felt like the mom of the group on the set of The Eternals.

“Yes, because everyone also came to tell me about their problems … and I loved it,” says the Mexican actor, who, at 55, plays the superhero matriarch in a new Marvel film.

And as a model, she said she had “thousands” of jokes.

“For example, Barry (Keoghan), who plays Druig, is dyslexic like me and he came to my trailer every day:” Help me, help me with the lines, I’m ashamed that others hear me reading. ” And there I sat with him, and we laughed a lot. It was like doing homework with my child, ”Hayek said in Spanish during a recent video interview from London. “He’s much younger than me and another actor with dyslexia.”

Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao’s “Eternals” opens in theaters on Friday.

The film follows a group of immortal beings with superhuman abilities who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years and are now gathering to fight the evil Deviants, a fictional race of humanoids. Starring Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan and Lauren Ridloff, the first deaf actor to play a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the role of Ajak, whose superpower heals, Hayek is the only character who has a direct connection with the Celestials, an ancient race of creatures with enormous abilities to manipulate matter and energy, and who sent the Eternals on a mission to Earth.

The actor, who had some CGI experience from Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids, said she was surprised at how little technology was used in Zhao’s film. The director of Land of Nomads is known for her rather naturalistic style.

“Usually they don’t use locations (for superhero movies), all the scenery is later created with computers. We filmed in the Canary Islands and here in the UK, and I liked it, it all looked very organic, ”she said, noting that her only CGI scenes are those in which she talks to a celestial.

“You see the cross on the green wall, while you have thousands of extensions that weigh a lot, and this thing that I have on my head that also weighs, so I got some neck pain … but I just I did it a couple of times. “

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In fact, one of her biggest problems was with the costumes. Aside from the headgear and extension cords, some suits were so tight that putting on just a few pounds could be a problem.

“I was terrified because it took about five months to shoot. I didn’t go every day, but it was a period of five months when if you put on weight – and I tend to it, ”she says, waving her hand. “I said, ‘Oh, I can’t gain or lose weight because of these suits.”

“I was absolutely right!” she added with a laugh. “After the pandemic, I had to take a couple more pictures and the suit didn’t fit anymore! It’s good that it was something very small, because it was really traumatic. But hey, this has happened to a lot of us. “

The Eternals is one of four Hayek films to be released in 2021. The Oscar-nominated actress (for the 2002 film Frida) starred in Bliss and The Assassin’s Wife Bodyguard this year, and will then appear in Gucci House. »With Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino.

Of the four “Eternals” – the only one directed by a woman.

“I admire her so much,” she said excitedly about Zhao. “She is very strong, she knows very well what she wants. Some people said, “Oh, but she makes very small films, she will not know how to handle such a large production.” Uff, she’s super tech, she’s well educated in cinema, she understands both the big and the personal … and she’s very good with the actors. “

Zhao tried to put together a cast that couldn’t be more inclusive. In addition to Hayek as Hispanic and Ridloff as the first deaf superhero, The Eternals also features Black (Brian Tyree Henry as Fastos) and Asian actors (Chan, Nanjiani, and Ma Donsok as Makkari, Kingo, and Gilgamesh, respectively). and features the first gay kiss in a Marvel movie.

Hayek said that while the inclusion of a diverse cast “sometimes seems a little forced,” this is not the case for The Eternals.

“Like everything Chloe does, she really does it intuitively because she naturally believes in it,” she said.

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Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner

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