Meet the Eternals.
Marvel is revving up for its next major ensemble movie starring an all-star roster that includes Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Gemma Chan. Ahead of the premiere of the next Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) blockbuster, Entertainment Weekly produced 10 digital covers with 10 stars of “Eternals”.
“It’s certainly the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Jolie (Thena), one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, says. “As somebody who’s directed, to watch the production try to manage it, it was a huge thing to take on.
“It is one of the weirdest things to train for because you’re throwing things, grabbing things, breaking things in half,” she explains. “You feel a little nuts. You’re just throwing your hand out as if you’re thinking, Is that a sword? Is that a spear? Is it a lasso? What am I doing? Then you get into it and it gets really fun, but it’s a puzzle.”
The ethnic diversity of the “Eternals” cast is celebrated in the movie. For instance, Nanjiani — a native of Pakistan — performs a Bollywood number in celebration of Pakistan’s neighbouring country of India.
“I’m not a dancer,” Nanjiani (Kingo) admits. “I have zero rhythm. I had to take months and months of classes to do this. So it was very challenging, but I know that if we could pull this off and capture the joy and excitement of a Bollywood dance number in a Marvel movie, that would be special — because I grew up watching Bollywood movies.
“I knew every Bollywood movie until, like, the late ’90s. So to be able to do an homage to the genre of movies that I loved and grew up watching was really special.”
For Hayek, working with director Chloe Zhao was a dream com true.
“Imagine in your 50s you get a call from this director that you’re crazy about, who says, ‘You’re going to be a superhero,'” Hayek says before dishing on her character Ajak. “She’s full of contradictions… She’s the bridge between the Eternals and the Celestials, and it’s never easy to hold two sides together.”
The Eternals are a group of immortal aliens and, for Madden (“Game of Thrones”), portraying a character such as Ikaris proved difficult.
“I had to work out, ‘How do you play someone who’s seen everything and done everything?'” Madden explains. “How do you play them to not be bored of everything because you’ve seen it and done it?”
Chan (“Crazy Rich Asians”) is doubling up on MCU duties as Sersi having previously portrayed Starforce sharpshooter Minn-Erva in 2019’s “Captain Marvel”.
“The obvious difference is that I didn’t have to do four hours every morning, getting the blue makeup on,” she laughs. “I have to say, that was somewhat of a relief. It was nice not finding blue paint in my crevices, weeks later.
“She’s interesting because she is this immortal being, but she’s very grounded as well,” Chan says of her new character Sersi. “She’s a little bit of a free spirit and just loves being amongst humans.”
“Eternals” premieres Nov. 5 and also stars Kit Harington, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, and Don Lee.