Oscar-nominated actress Salma Hayek (Frida) never thought she would be starring in the same kind of action movies that she used to break out into Hollywood over 25 years ago.
In an interview for the cover of Variety, Hayek talked about what it was like to get the call that they wanted her for the new Marvel superhero movie Eternals.
“It’s kind of hard to be an action hero if you’re Mexican,” Hayek says. “It’s really hard to be an action hero if you’re a Mexican and a woman. But to be an action hero, being Mexican, a woman, and my age, it felt like they were punking me.”
What was also difficult for Hayek to believe was that the character she would be playing in the film was originally a man in the comic books, a sign to her that things are starting to change for many, but not all, women in the industry.
“When it happens to you it’s important that you pass it on and say, ‘Yes, it’s happening. It’s really, really happening,’” she says. “So, if it’s going well for you, if you see the change, it’s good to say that it is happening for us.”
Hayek also revealed that last year, she caught COVID-19 and was even put on oxygen. She told Variety she still hasn’t regained all her energy from being sick.
“My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad,” Hayek says. “I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.’”
Hayek will be energized in her new sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard where she plays more than just a “sexy Mexican” or damsel in distress. At age 54, Hayek feels up for the challenge.
“I thought I was going to be an action star,” she says. “That’s how I started. But at some point, at a certain age, I was sure it was never going to happen because it didn’t when it made sense. Now that it doesn’t make any sense, it’s all happening.”