The highly anticipated release of the new Marvel studio’s fourth character film, Thor: Love and Thunder is just days away and already getting fun reviews! Nerdophiles had the pleasure of attending the Global Press Conference featuring Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Natalie Portman (“Jane Foster/The Mighty Thor”), Tessa Thompson (“King Valkyrie”), Christian Bale (“Gorr the God Butcher”), Taika Waititi (Director / Writer/ “Korg”), and Kevin Feige (Producer). Moderated by Entertainment Tonight journalist Will Marfuggi, check out all of our Thor: Love and Thunder scoop!
On the evolution of “Thor” over the years, Hemsworth shared: “Since Taika’s been involved, he’s brought out the immature, young, and adolescent qualities that I embody. And so does Thor now, which he didn’t in the original films, which was exciting and new and fresh. That’s always the sort of North Star- having fun and embodying this space as a child would, enjoying all of it, and being caught up in the wonder and the fascination of all of it. So I try not to get bogged down in the serious sort of nature that we can when making films. Personally, with these kinds of films, it’s got to be fun! That’s what we’ve done, that’s what I’ve related to, and that’s what Taika’s kind of insisted upon, and it’s been fun.”
On why he believes audiences respond so well to “Thor,” Feige told us: “I think they respond to Chris Hemsworth, and I think they respond to everything that he can do. And Taika certainly brought another dimension that was always there within Chris. There were moments, even going back to EPK interviews on our New Mexico set, where Chris was being hilarious. And I saw a clip of Avengers: Age of Ultron the other day, where he’s trying to make Mark Ruffalo (“Dr. Bruce Banner/ Hulk”) feel better about smashing a bunch of people, and it’s so funny because of his expert timing. And Taika was like, “What are you guys doing with him just, you know, holding a hammer up with lightning? Let’s do that and tap into everything Chris can do.”
Feige added: “For so long, we said, “Well, he’s a Norse god. How do we make him relatable?” And spent so much time making sure that the audience connected with him, that they are so with him now that yes, we could go to a part four.”
On the return of Dr. Jane Foster and stepping into “The Mighty Thor” suit for the first time, Portman said: “Yeah, it was pretty wild, of course. After seeing Chris wear the costume for so many years, and then to try, you know, the version on myself and getting fitted for the arm cuffs, boots, and everything was pretty surreal for the first time.”
Portman continued: “I was especially grateful to everyone’s imagination to cast a five-three actress in a six-foot role. I think that takes a real leap of possibility in your mind and probably not something I will get the opportunity to do, to be imagined as, by any other group. So, it was a great challenge! Tessa and Chris had a lot of experience in that world, so I got to learn a lot from them.”
On his transformation into “Gorr the God Butcher” Bale shared: “I think in Gorr, the audience looks for an actor that is the polar opposite to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Someone not relatable, a bit of a loner, creepy, someone no one wants to be around, and nobody wants to see his ass. And so, I think the team went, “Yeah, we found it in Bale.”
Bale added: “There’s great pleasure in playing a villain, and it’s a lot easier to play a villain than it is to play a hero. Chris had a much tougher job, you know. Everyone is fascinated with bad guys immediately, but the beauty of it is that Taika can make it bloody hilarious and then really moving as well in this story. I don’t know if it’s pushing it too much to say sympathy, but certainly, you sort of understand maybe why this guy is making awful decisions. And while he is a monster, and he is a butcher, there’s a little understanding of why he came to be that way.”
On “King Valkyrie’s” journey, Thompson told us: “It’s been really fun. The thing that I’ve enjoyed about these films, and certainly I think something that Stan Lee talked a lot about, whether it’s a villain or a hero, is that the thing that sometimes connects them to their power, whether it’s used for good or bad, is their trauma. So, when we first met Valkyrie, she had a tremendous amount of it, and she was dealing with that by drinking a lot. Taika and I talked a lot about what a female superhero looks like. We sort of have this moment where she comes out, and you think it’s gonna be sort of that badass thing, and then, she immediately falls over. That was fun to both try to inhabit the spirit and the kind of physicality that it takes to be a hero, which is its own skill, and also to allow her to be fun and sort of goofy, it’s just been nice.”
Thompson added: “With this one, we talked about the idea of Valkyrie having a job that she loves, but she’s also kind of disgruntled. She was a professional soldier for thousands of years and now finds herself kind of stuck in bureaucracy. So, she’s missing being on the battlefield and missing her sisters. And it’s been great fun to get to have that again, with Natalie in particular as “Mighty Thor.”
On the musical inspiration and ideas for this bombastic action-adventure, Waititi said: “We just wanted to spend as much money as we possibly could on some songs, it’s always been a dream of mine. The whole aesthetic around the film was always to be this bombastic, loud, colorful palette, which kind of reflected, like, spray-painted panel vans in the eighties and rock album covers. And, even the title treatment for the film, it’s the kind of thing I would’ve drawn on my school book in class when I wasn’t listening.”
Waititi continued: “I remember spending, you know, months and months perfecting the Metallica logo at school, and Guns N’ Roses, was like one of my all-time favorite bands. So we were able to use that music to reflect the crazy adventure that we’re presenting visually, which was another one of my dreams that came true.”
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8th!