The Eternals are finally here!
After what has felt like an eternal wait, Marvel Studios' Eternals is finally releasing in cinemas this week. Clocking in at 157 minutes, the superhero ensemble film follows the Eternals — a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years as they reunite to battle the evil Deviants.
In a global press conference recently, the cast, director, and producer of the movie got together and shared about their characters and their experience filming this superhero movie
Participating in the press conference were the following:
- Angelina Jolie (Thena)
- Salma Hayek (Ajak)
- Gemma Chan (Sersi)
- Lauren Ridloff (Makkari)
- Richard Madden (Ikaris)
- Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos)
- Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo)
- Don Lee (Gilgamesh)
- Lia McHugh (Sprite)
- Kit Harington (Dane Whitman)
- Chloe Zhao (director)
- Kevin Feige (producer)
1. Angelina Jolie shared what attracted her to the project and what she found most interesting about her character, Thena
When asked what attracted her the most to the project, Jolie said that there were many reasons: she's a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and a big fan of Chloe Zhao (director) and much later when they (the production team) were talking about the story, she liked the cast.
She said, "It was the idea of what this family would be. And I just wanted to be a part of this family before I even knew very much about who I was going to play."
On playing Thena, she said that Thena is "the most fantastic I've ever played in a superhero. And yet, my children said they thought it was the most like me." She added, "Her (Thena) vulnerability and what she's trying to balance and that being able to be in the same woman who is also considered very strong. I think we often have to present to be fully together to be strong."
2. For Salma Hayek, it was a humbling experience to get a role in the MCU and she was moved by it
"It's very humbling when in the middle of your 50s, a brilliant director gives you the opportunity to do both: to do something that comes from a deep place, that is also a big blockbuster. And when you think about it, in your 50s, Mexican, I mean, I'm short with big boobs. It's not the normal superhero. You know, it's not like muscle-y. I don't look like that."
She was even touched that she could do her own stunts and joked that the Marvel producers were "not afraid of the insurance, that the... grandma (her) was gonna break in the middle of it".
She goes on to add how she was almost in tears at how beautiful it was when she saw a Latino family — a mother with three little girls all dressed like Ajak.
3. Kumail Nanjiani, who got super buffed for his role, revealed the hardest thing he had to do
This might surprise you but it wasn't an action sequence. It was... a dance sequence!
He recalled the teeny tiny lie Chloe Zhao made, "When we first talked about the movie, she was like, 'There's a Bollywood dance sequence,' and I was like, 'Chloe, I don't think I can do that.' She's like, 'Okay, we'll make it a Bollywood action scene.' And then as soon as I got to London, she's like, 'It's a dance sequence'."
Kumail adds that he worked for months with a dance teacher before production because he felt so out of his comfort zone to do a dance number. Ultimately, he says, it all came down to trust and went along with it.
Sneaky, Chloe, sneaky! ;p
4. Speaking of trust, Brian Tyree Henry felt the same way when it came to trusting Chloe and her direction for his character
"I truly, wholeheartedly trusted Chloe," he exclaimed.
"I remember the first time that they were like, 'So, we want you to be a superhero.' I was like, 'Cool. How much weight do I have to lose?' And like, Chloe was like, 'What are you talking about? We want you exactly as you are.' And to be a Black man, to have someone look at you and say, 'We want you exactly the way you are,' is unlike anything that I've ever felt."
5. Kit Harington addressed his character's love triangle with Gemma Chan and Richard Madden's characters
Kit Harington and Richard Madden go way back, having starred as half-brothers in HBO's Game of Thrones together.
So when asked what was it like competing against Richard Madden one more time, he pointed out that, "It's so little together. It's the funny thing. It's like we existed, like memories — we've been friends for a long time now. But actually look at the amount of screen time we've had. It's very, very little. I just want more, you know? That's all I want."
6. Don Lee shared that he had quite an interesting challenge while filming his action scenes
In Eternals, the main enemy are the Deviants. And because they are CGI-ed, Don Lee had quite a challenge fighting them due to the lack of a physical opponent while filming.
The Train to Busan star joked, "I've done so many action scenes and action sequence. I got many injuries, surgeries. And I'm rehabbing. I'm still doing powerlifting. I've been boxing for 30 years. And I'm always ready for another action film. But this is a little bit different because I don't have a physical opponent. I have to use my imagination."
Kumail then praised Lee on his dedication and hard work saying, "He worked so hard on it too, because he has a fight with Kro that I think he shot for three months. It's so great 'cause it's like, he's physically so powerful, and then so gentle when he's not fighting."
Featuring an impressive star-studded cast and an Oscar-winning director, Marvel Studios' Eternals is releasing in local cinemas on 4 November. Be sure to check it out!