ETERNALS Star Salma Hayek Talks Joining The MCU And Her Near-Fatal Battle With COVID-19

Salma Hayek revealed that she'd been diagnosed with COVID-19 last November, but it sounds like her illness was a lot more serious than we realized. The actress also discusses her role as Ajak in Eternals.

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Like quite a few of her fellow actors working in close proximity to others while shooting, Salma Hayek ended up contracting COVID-19 last year. She publicly revealed her diagnosis via social media in November, but it sounds like her resulting illness was quite a bit more serious than we realized.

During an interview with Variety, the Eternals star said she purposely kept the severity of her symptoms secret, but that it escalated to the point that she needed to be put on oxygen and wound up spending almost seven weeks isolated in a room of her house.

"My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad," she explained. "I said, 'No, thank you. I'd rather die at home.'"

Thankfully, Hayek made a full recovery and got back to work earlier this year, but she tells the trade that she "still hasn't regained the energy she once had."

In the same interview, the Hitman's Bodyguard's Wife actress touches on her upcoming role as Ajak in Marvel's Eternals, revealing how surprised she was to land a part in a superhero movie as a Mexican woman in her 50s.

"It never crossed my mind to be in a Marvel movie. I guess that I thought that boat had sailed, and it was an absolute shock. All of a sudden, I got a call: 'They want to talk to you about a new franchise.' And I was like, 'What?' And I said OK, but they don’t tell you any information until you’re on the call. It’s kind of hard to be an action hero if you’re Mexican. 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. And then the worst part is that I was one of the first people they cast. I had to keep my mouth shut for so many months. I couldn’t tell a soul. And I couldn’t wait for the day that I could say it."

You can catch a first (brief) glimpse of Hayek as Ajak in the Phase 4 preview video below.

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