Salma Hayek has said the diversity of new Marvel superhero movie Eternals is a “huge” step forward for inclusivity.
The blockbuster, in which she stars opposite Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Madden, Kit Harington and Brian Tyree Henry, also features deaf actress Lauren Ridloff and was directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao.
Frida star Hayek, 55, told the PA news agency: “I haven’t had a chance to explore being a superhero in the past, or [be] part of a franchise that is actually the biggest one ever, or to explore being a part of the most diverse cast that’s ever been made in a film – a lot of exploration.
“And it’s not my first time, but it is a rare jewel to be able to work with a female director.
“[The diversity is] huge, and especially because for the deaf community, all of a sudden, they’re watching a movie that’s speaking their language, and I think it’s amazing.”
Nanjiani added: “I was talking to Lauren and she used this phrase ‘deaf gain’, which means the ways in which being deaf, the advantages that it has, and I had never heard that phrase before. And you watch the movie and you really see the ways of ‘deaf gain’. And just working with her was so special.”
Crazy Rich Asians star Chan said the inclusivity of the film felt “so important,” adding: “I think it’s amazing that there will be young boys and girls seeing themselves represented in a film like this, maybe for the first time.
“I also hope we’re moving towards a point where it’s no longer a big deal that we have a diverse cast like this.
“And it’s not just about race, ethnicity, it’s about ability, it’s everything – sexual orientation.
“These characters that have been around since the dawn of civilisation, it just makes sense that they should represent the beauty and the breadth of humanity.
“And also, I should say that I feel that each of us had been cast because there’s something within each of our personalities that is like the character so it also doesn’t feel like it’s (shoehorned in).”
Eternals will be released in UK cinemas on November 5.