Thor: Love and Thunder Stars Talk Acting in the MCU and the Mighty Return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster

Thor: Love and Thunder is just days away from moving the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward and it looks like an epic adventure that not only stars Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, but will also see Natalie Portman take on Mjolnir to become Mighty Thor. and Christian Bale doing his best to terrorize our heroes as Gorr the Butcher God.

To help share why Thor: Love and Thunder will be worthy of Mjolnir and the MCU, IGN sat down with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson to discuss what it’s really like to work in the MCU, how he sees it. the powerful return of Portman as Jane Foster, and more.

What it’s like to work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Since Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the MCU has become one of the biggest entertainment properties in the world. Much of that success comes from Marvel’s ability to attract world-class talent and tell a connected story that may very well never end.

Thor: Love and Thunder will be the 29th MCU film in this never-ending story and the fourth film to star Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder. Hemsworth first took on Mjolnir in 2011’s Thor, and he’s grown a lot since that first movie and has gone from a traditional superhero with bleached eyebrows to the funniest Avenger before our eyes. Hemsworth understands this better than anyone, and he’s shared his insights on his journey as Thor with us.

“I really think that from Ragnarok, the sense of humor makes [Thor] all the more relevant the greater the sense of enjoyment and enjoyment to be had,” Hemsworth said. “I think the more vulnerable he became over time, the more susceptible he was to emotional trauma or emotional complications and his mental fitness wasn’t always at 10, I think people kind of appreciated that. .”

While Hemsworth led the charge in the Thor films, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie made an incredible first impression in Thor: Ragnarok and has since become a fan favorite. She’s relatively new to the MCU, and she talked about how becoming a superhero really takes a lot of imagination, because a lot of times you’re acting against a green screen, and in a way, you have to embrace the way we played when we were kids. we would have to save the universe from the threats we conjured up in our minds.

“I think that’s a really hard thing to get into,” Thompson said of where you have to go to convince movie-going audiences that you’re a true superhero. “There’s also a lack of… I don’t know how to describe it. It’s almost like a lack of dignity that you have to have to make these films. You really don’t have to be afraid to make a fool of yourself, and I think that’s something huge and really expands your reach.

Thompson has always wanted to be part of a movie like Thor: Ragnarok, and she was up to the special challenges these types of projects demand, including the need to be in the best shape of your life.

“In some cases, you work on [superhero films] for six or eight months,” Thompson continued. “And then you come back and do covers several months later. And also getting to that level of fitness takes some discipline, which I think is great for an actor. And so I think there’s so many things that these movies require that are really helpful if you’re interested in that.

The comeback of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster

The first sparks of Thor and Jane Foster’s romance began in 2011’s Thor, but the two characters would eventually go their separate ways, and Portman’s Foster would be absent from Thor: Ragnarok entirely after starring in the first two films.

In Thor: Love and Thunder, Portman makes a triumphant return as Foster, who is now the Mighty Thor.

“I think when Jane Foster and Thor broke up, it was pretty open,” Hemsworth said. “And we now had a lot of room to create whatever we wanted between the two characters. We had all these unanswered questions and for him to be on this journey of self-discovery, trying to figure out who he was and all of a sudden seeing someone, his ex-girlfriend, dressed like him or similar, and being able to wield Mjolnir certainly took a moment of pausing and shaking up his kind of belief system or understanding of how the world works.

However, Foster’s return is much more than Thor. In this new movie, we’ll learn more about Foster’s backstory and motivations, which in turn will help strengthen it in more ways than Mjolnir ever could.

“It’s really amazing to understand where Jane comes from and what drives her, what her challenges are and what her driving force is,” Portman said. “I think it’s very humanizing for this kind of science character and love interest character, that we’ve established in the previous films, to have her have a bit more of her own battles that she fights and her own specific personality.”

Jane Foster will also be able to explore her sillier side in Thor: Love and Thunder, allowing Portman to play the character in a whole new way and adding a whole new dimension to her.

“It was so awesome to be able to let her be silly and let her have this more powerful stuff. [side], and yes, sometimes the other sides of power that come with it,” Portman said. “It was great to have a different imagination from her, and I was really grateful for [director] Taika [Waititi] take that.

Portman’s expanded role will no doubt be a treat for fans, but her performance and the impressive path she’s traveled to get to this point in her career as a woman has inspired those around her, including her close friend Tessa Thompson, with whom she co-starred. starring in the movie Annihilation.

“Natalie is such an amazing actress who has been working for a long time now. And I feel really inspired when I see someone who has been doing it for a long time and always trying to reach new heights and do things that challenge them. “Thompson said. “It’s very rare, especially as a woman, that you’re asked to grow, to get bigger, to get as big as you can. Typically, you’re being asked to get smaller in all sorts of ways. So seeing her do that and take on that challenge was wonderful.

“And then her and I, outside of Annihilation, also just had the opportunity to work together as colleagues to think about how to make this business fairer and safer for women and girls. And so to me, she’s actually just a real-life superhero in a lot of ways, and so playing with her in that space like one is also fun.

Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on July 8, 2022. For more, Read on to find out why Chris Hemsworth calls Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher one of his favorite Marvel villains.

Francesca Rivera is a video producer at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @fbrivera.

Adam Bankhurst is a reporter for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Tic.

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