Eternals releases in theaters this Friday, November 5th. The stars, producers, and director of Eternals sat down with the press for an event to show off the film. Eternals is directed by Chloe Zhao, produced by Kevin Feige, and stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington, Brian Tyree Henry, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh.

Diversity is a key part of Eternals. It shows with the multi-racial, multi-national cast they put together for the film. During the press junket, that topic was brought up over and over again. Salma Hayek was asked about what it means to represent Latinos in Eternals as the leader, Ajak.

It’s a really humbling experience…And when you think about it, you know, in your 50s, Mexican, I mean, I’m short with big boobs.  It’s not the normal superhero.  You know, it’s not like-I’m not, like, muscley.  I don’t look like that.  I-I don’t have Botox.  I’m doing well, but… I think, you know, that-that not looking like a superhero.  That it’s-it was a man in the-in the-the impossible.  It’s Marvel movie superhero.  I’m Mexican.  I’m Lebanese.  I’m Arab also.  You know, in my 50s.  And I did my-my-they let me do my action…  

Phastos And The Representation Of LGBTQ+ Persons

(L-R): Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Brian Tyree Henry, who plays Phastos in the movie, is the first openly gay character in an MCU film. He spoke about that experience and more.

The thing that really attracted me to this part was that I just think about all the images of black men and-out there and-and how we are portrayed.  And what I love the most about Phastos is that, one, he’s an ancestor.  All of us are ancestors technically.  So Phastos predates everything and had to do probably go through all these things, which, uh, could actually make someone lose faith in humanity very quickly. 

And I remember when I was coming to this project that I, Brian, had kind of lost faith in humanity, uh, just looking at all the things that we’ve been through.  And just what the images of black men were and how we were being portrayed and how we-like, the power was taken from us.  Like, the lack of power or feeling powerful.  And what I really love the most about Phastos is that through all of that, him being eternal, him never being able to die, he still chose love.  He still decided to have a family even though he may have to watch them perish.

He went on to say this about representation in the film.

So it just triggered me to being an 11-year-old kid who’s watching these superpower movies, superhero movies, and not ever seeing anyone like me reflected.  Like how I would take these posters and put them in my locker and just hope that, you know, one day there would be somebody representing me and the way, you know, that I am.  And I truly believe that that moment started when I sat down with Chloe.  It just, it’s unlike any feeling I’ve ever experienced.  And to work with these-this-this palette, this beautiful palette of people, um, and make a family ’cause this is what families look like, this is what they are.  And if not, this is what they should be.  And it’s-and it-that-I think that that’s what Eternals really brings to the-to the surface is that this is a family.

Eternals Is The Most Inclusive And Diverse Marvel Movie Ever

The film has an incredibly diverse cast that combines people of all kinds of races, genders, creeds, religious beliefs, and more. It’s an all-inclusive film. While it might stutter with the script, it does a great job of showing off the diverse cast. They’re a true highlight of the film.

You can catch Eternals in theaters on November 5th, 2021.

For more on Marvel, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.