Eternals Star Reveals They Had Significant Input On Their Character

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When most actors first join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they don’t have a huge amount of input when it comes to shaping either the personality or storyline direction of their characters, with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark being an obvious and notable exception.

Chris Hemsworth arguably didn’t deliver his best version of Thor until Ragnarok, while Chris Evans was much more comfortable as Captain America in The Winter Soldier than he was in The First Avenger. However, Salma Hayek revealed in a set visit interview via ComicBook that she was determined to put her own spin on Ajak from the second she first boarded Eternals.

“They start talking and it’s such a big world and it gets scarier as it goes on. And she gave me some kind of idea of what I would be doing in the film, but not much. You don’t know if that’s done in three scenes, in four, or in one. Then I started saying, okay, so I said a couple of things coming out of my ignorance, an absolute sense of loss. I was lost in it, but that helped me go more quickly into the more human part of the characters, because it was a complicated for me. Could we not do it like the characters where the leader is like this? It’s more like the mother is, a lot of the times, the leader of a family and when identified, she loved it.

And there were a couple of things I got to be maybe ambitious and say, well, could I be the superhero for the environment. She added, Because it’s mother earth, and you have all these superheroes. They’re always trying to save the earth in all the superheroes movies. Marvel, all of that, but then nobody was like, ‘Let’s talk more about the earth we’re saving. Can I love animals and plants and all the things about humanity, like music and food? And can I be the superhero that really wants to save all those things?’.”

Of course, Hayek has more than earned the right to offer her opinions having spent well over 30 years in the industry, racking up appearances in countless box office hits and acclaimed projects, and it’s a further display of the increasingly collaborative environment fostered by Kevin Feige and his Marvel Studios team.

Eternals may have been drawing surprisingly mixed reactions following the red carpet premiere, but the performances are being uniformly praised, and a large part of that is down to talent like Hayek, Angelina Jolie and the rest weighing in with their thoughts on how to present the best possible iteration of their respective superheroes.