When Salma Hayek caught wind of Marvel’s “Eternals” she was pretty sure she knew the role she would be cast in.

“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,” Hayek recalled to Elle of director Chloé Zhao calling her with the news.

“When she told me I was one of them, I was like, ‘Me, Mexican, Middle Eastern? Me, in my 50s? I’m going to be a superhero in a Marvel movie?’ Sometimes as a woman, as a woman of colour and with the age, you feel so overlooked,” Hayek explained. “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, S**t, this one is cool. She’s got balls, she’s interesting.

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But everything wasn’t smooth sailing as Hayek “had some problems with the script.”

Salma Hayek. Photo: Greg Williams
Salma Hayek. Photo: Greg Williams

She detailed to the publication for their November “Women in Hollywood” issue how Zhao came over to discuss it and a “serious fight” broke out.

“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,” Hayek said.

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Even the people outside grew concerned that Hayek was about to be 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 added. “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.”