Salma Hayek insisted on playing a middle-aged woman going through menopause in “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”.

Hayek, 54, told the Irish Examiner that “the stigma that is maybe the slowest one to change is the discrimination of age.” So, she flexed her creative freedom in “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” to layer the experience of a menopausal woman in her character work.

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“I was also extra lucky because I was included in the process of the second movie and I thought that was very generous, but also very smart, because the problem with action films is it’s mostly men who do them,” Hayek said. “And I was heard.”

“Of course there were some things that they were like, ‘Really? Are you sure we should go in this direction? It’s an action comedy, is dealing with menopause something that people are going to find funny or interesting?’ But they listened.”

Ultimately, Hayek believes she and the team succeeded in striking a balance between authenticity, action and comedy.

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“[The team] went with it and I think we managed to do a character that, even though she is an action character, she’s still very much a woman,” Hayek said. “It’s not like a woman trying to be a man, she isn’t trying to be a man at all.”

“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” premieres June 16 in theatres.