Following a stellar opening earning $3.9 million on nearly 3,000 screens in the U.S. and an additional 3,300 on Friday, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is projected to earn $15 million this Father's Day weekend. Starring an all-star cast, including Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Morgan Freeman, it's no secret it's bound to be a success. Picking up from The Hitman's Bodyguard, one angle that makes this film so exciting is that Hayek — previously imprisoned in the first movie — is now the lead, telling PopCulture.com exclusively, it feels like "divine justice."
"I was so excited — I was so excited. If it was going to happen in any of them, this was the one because I love the guys," the 54-year-old said, adding how much she loves Jackson and Reynolds. In the first film, fans were able to see a glimpse of Hayek and her feisty character Sonia Kincaid, however, she was so adored and there were so many ways to develop her character even more, director Patrick Hughes made the big decision to bring her back as the star.
"To me it was just an organic process," Hughes told PopCulture when asked his reasoning for the decision. "I mean it just felt like, you know, the first film had set up this dynamic relationship between Sam and Ryan, and Sam was like this, overbearing, sort of disgruntled father figure, and Ryan was like a man-child in need of validation issues. And then, you know that had a family dynamic in its own right, and then to me, it was, well let's get Salma out of prison, let's put her on the road trip, that's not only gonna make Ryan suffer more, 'cause if he's gotta try and survive a trip with Sam Jackson, it's like, well now you gotta survive it with Sam and Salma."
Hayek meshes well with Reynolds and Jackson as she brought a chaotic yet empathetic feel to the big screen throughout the movie. While it's no secret all three are very experienced actors with a long, successful resume of films and shows under their belts, what brings an even more organic feel to several of the scenes is because they were encouraged to go off-cuff and improvise, which is something Hayek says she loves. One part she didn't love so much was hitting Reynolds so many times on set. She joked that while it more than likely hurt his face, it also hurt her hand a bit, but it was all done in good fun for the scenes.
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is now in theatres. For more with Salma, the stars, and all things entertainment, stick to PopCulture for the very latest.