The "Frida" star portrays Ajak, the spiritual leader of the Eternals, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe flick, and has revealed she confessed to the team that hired her that she knew nothing about comic books and the immortal alien race who secretly live on Earth.
The actress admitted she found it "very unsettling" signing her contract without knowing what she was in for.
Salma, who also had to keep tight-lipped about the movie, told Variety's Just for Variety podcast, "My agents were like, 'A Marvel franchise!' I'm like, 'Oh, my God. I'm working with Chloe (Zhao)!' and so I was starstruck when she was talking to me on Zoom. That was very exciting.' "
She continued, "I was sworn to secrecy because I was one of the first people that they hired but I had to keep it in a secret for a long, long time. So, when I had the call, I said to them, 'I confess. Eventually I will know everything that there is to know, but what are the Eternals? Do they exist in comics? I don't know who's Ajax.' And then they explained everything to me. They explained me the script. They didn't give me the script. I had to sign the contract without reading the script. They wouldn't let me see the script until I signed. That was very unsettling."
The "Grown Ups" star also had concerns about her superhero costume because she is "claustrophobic" while she spilled that "The Eternals" is shot in a "completely different way" to other Marvel films.
"Then I was afraid of the outfit. I'm claustrophobic. I was very afraid that I was going to feel like I couldn't move," she sighed. "It has a completely different DNA from the (other Marvel movies). It's shot different than all the other ones. It's in real locations and they found some crazy extraterrestrial-looking locations. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about what they do with the camera, but... it's not mostly done in post. The cinematography is incredible."
However, Salma actually found putting on her costume for the first time "empowering" and "moving" because she was once told she'd never succeed in a career in acting, let alone play a superhero in a blockbuster franchise, whilst she's been bullied for her height.
"It really moved me … They told me (early in her career), 'It's never going to happen for you here.' I am representing," she smiled. "It's not because I'm putting on an outfit but we get the right to be superheroes today. I'm also 54. So there was something really moving, not just for me, but for everything, all the different stereotypes. She's not sexy. You know what I'm saying? She's not sexy at all. I'm very short. I've been bullied for being short my entire life. And suddenly, it doesn't matter. You're a superhero in the Marvel universe. It moved me."