Salma Hayek, who plays Ajak in the upcoming MCU film from Chloé Zhao, opens up about her character’s relationships with the other Eternals.
Salma Hayek opens up about Ajak’s view of the other characters in Eternals. Now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has had its time to shine, attention has now shifted to the next film on Marvel’s release slate for this year. Eternals finished principal photography in early 2020 and had its release date pushed back numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, writer/director Chloé Zhao took home two Oscars for her most recent film, Nomadland. Now her entry into the MCU is less than a month away.
Just like Marvel did with James Gunn in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Zhao has been entrusted with introducing a new team of superheroes to their incessantly expanding cinematic universe. Eternals will debut the titular alien race who have been living on Earth for thousands of years but have been instructed by their creators, the Celestials, to never interfere unless Deviants are involved. That is until the sudden return of half the Earth’s population in Avengers: Endgame provides the necessary energy for their evil counterparts to return, and the Eternals must emerge from hiding and band together to protect humanity.
During Screen Rant‘s visit to the set of Eternals at Pinewood Studios in January 2020, Hayek opened up to a group of reporters about her character’s view of the other Eternals. Hayek spoke specifically about Ajak’s maternal role in the group and likened her various relationships with the other Eternals to how a parent has different bonds with each of their children. Read what Hayek had to say below:
The thing of the mother was interesting because it allows me to have a specific perspective of observation. That it’s a specific human way of seeing all the people in these– there’s a level of love, of caring, and empathy. There’s a level of trying to hold, not just the mission, but, the family that is doing this mission, which is different. And I have a different relationship with each one of them, like you do with your kids. And you can differentiate, this one is going to be the one that is going to have trouble with this, Oh my God I know. I am terrified when this girl turns 14, she’s going to be dating at 30. So, you already know your kids that way.
It’s well-known now that Hayek character’s, Ajak, was a male in the comics created by Jack Kirby, but was gender-swapped for the film. This allowed Zhao and her co-writers to explore the character’s femininity and role as the Eternals’ de facto maternal figure, as well as their spiritual leader. Ajak is also known to have the ability to heal others and is the only Eternal in the film who can communicate with their overlords, the Celestials.
Ajak will certainly have her work cut out for her when the Eternals take on the Deviants in the upcoming MCU film, as she leads a group that also includes Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Sprite (Lia McHugh), to name a few. It will be interesting to watch how Ajak interacts with the other Eternals and to see what Hayek described above. The MCU’s newest team of mighty heroes make their highly anticipated debut when Eternals arrives in theaters on November 5.