Salma Hayek Admits She Fought With Marvel Director Over Eternals Script

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Marvel, Eternals, MCU, Ajak, Chloé Zhao

Next up on the MCU docket is Chloé Zhao's epic, Eternals. The film will introduce a whole new group to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and explore concepts that will flesh it out in brand-new ways.

There has been lots of hype for the project, and the word of mouth behind the scenes is extremely positive––something evident when Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says that the film had the best pitch he's ever heard in his life.

The cast is full of huge names and is one of the most diverse ever to be seen in the MCU. This includes names like Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Salma Hayek.

Actors such as Hayek haven't held back when it comes to speaking at length about the film and all the great things they have accomplished with it.

However despite all of this positivity, apparently at one point, there were some heated arguments about the film's script between Hayek and Zhao.

Salma Hayek Fights for Eternals

Eternals, Salma Hayek

During a conversation with Elle, actor Salma Hayek was discussed her work on Marvel Studios' upcoming film, Eternals.

Hayek started out by noting that she "never thought [she] was going to be one of the Eternals:"

"One day I got the call and I'm like, 'What?' And I thought, Okay, I'm going to play the grandmother. I never thought I was going to be one of the Eternals. It doesn't happen. It's never happened to me like that before without a fight and like, 'I can do this, please hire me!' When she told me I was one of them, I was like,'Me, Mexican, Middle Eastern? Me, in my fifties? I'm going to be a superhero in a Marvel movie?'"

She went on to explain how she can often "feel so overlooked," and that when the actor was chosen for Eternals, she "just felt acknowledged:"

"Sometimes, as a woman, as a woman of color and with the age, you feel so overlooked. It was one of those moments where you think, Okay, I held on in this industry, survived for this long. I just felt acknowledged by somebody I admire and didn't know she was watching me. I kept feeling like, Shit, this one is cool. She's got balls, she's interesting."

After she was on board with the project, Hayek admitted to having had fights with director Chloé Zhao over her character and the script.

The actor mentioned how the two of them "got into a serious fight," but that at the end of the day, that argument "was one of the best creative conversation [she's] ever had with a director:"

"I had some problems with the script and we got into a serious fight at my house. We were both passionate. And she was like, 'No, but that's not how I designed it.' The people outside my house were calling it a fight, because we were kind of screaming. We continued to talk and talk, and it went on for a long time. The people outside were so nervous that I was going to get fired. I came out and I said, 'Wow, I'm in love with her brain!' That was the best creative conversation I've ever had with a director in my life, and she felt the same. She told me, 'Wow! That was amazing.' It was just complete freedom. We found our middle ground. While finding it, we came up with other ideas. It was super exciting."

Hayek finished by noting that Zhao is "super strong" and how she "[has] a clear vision:"

"What happened there is that I realized she's super strong. She knows what she wants. She had a clear vision of the field. She's open to hearing, but you have to really make a smart point."

Hayek Fights Zhao & Both Emerge Victoriously

It's easy to hear about actors fighting with the director of their film and just assume that it means not great things for the movie. The truth of the matter, however, is that it's simply the creative process.

As Hayek mentioned, the argument was passionate, and even if it got loud, it ended up being extremely constructive and useful. It goes to show how great of a director Zhao is, that she would listen to feedback from her actors.

The real question is, what were the two arguing about? There's no way to know, but if it was that heated, it's likely a key aspect or moment for Hayek's character, Ajak.

Could they have been arguing over whether or not the Eternal was going to make it to the end of the movie alive? Maybe her mother-esque character was set to have a dark change of heart, and Hayek thought it didn't sit well.

The only way to find out is to go see the movie when it comes out on November 5, 2021.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.