Tessa Thompson & Natalie Portman on ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Thor: Love and Thunder is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe opening in theaters this week. The film, which stars Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Tessa Thompson is the fourth Thor film in the MCU and the second one to be directed by Taika Waitati. We Live Entertainment recently had the chance to participate in the film’s global press conference because Thor: Love and Thunder is centered around two female badasses, we decided to focus our coverage on Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman and Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson.

Natalie Portman on being back in the Thor world:

“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, and Tessa and Chris obviously had a lot of experience in that world, so got to learn a lot from them.”

Tessa Thompson on her journey as Valkyrie:

It’s been really fun.  I mean, the thing that I’ve really enjoyed about these films, and certainly I think something that Stan Lee talked a lot about, whether it’s a villain or a hero, the thing that connects them to their power, whether it’s used for good or bad, is actually their trauma. And so, when we first met Valkyrie, she had a tremendous amount of it, and she was dealing with that by drinking a lot. And Taika and I, talked a lot about what a female superhero looks like.  That you 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. And that was really fun to try to inhabit the spirit and the kind of physicality that it takes to be a hero, which is its own skill. Chris is so tremendous at it. It’s not an easy thing to do. And also, to allow her to be fun and sort of goofy.  And it’s just been really nice.  With this one, we also talked about the idea of someone that has a job that they really love, but they’re 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 really missing being on the battlefield and missing her sisters. And so, it’s been great fun to get to have that again, with Natalie in particular as Mighty Thor.

Natalie Portman on her vision of a superhero and whether it has evolved over the years:

Yes. I feel like getting this opportunity, first of all with such an incredible way to explore a female superhero that could be quite vulnerable and weak and find strength in that and be more like a human I could relate to personally.  And then also I think it just gave me renewed respect for what Chris has been doing for over a decade, Tessa’s been doing, because I see how much work goes into it that I don’t think I was aware of when I was just like the chick in the first one. I didn’t see everything that went on behind the scenes that now when I got inside into like all of the choreography and the training and everything, I would be like, wow this is a triple job of what I was doing back then.

Tessa Thompson on dealing with the loss in Thor: Love and Thunder:

Oh, I think that’s what’s so fun about these movies, and this one, in particular, is kind of holding that space between sort of the ridiculousness and the fun and the pathos. And I think that’s something that Taika has always done really, really well in his films. And in this one especially, I feel like he really was excited to lean into the emotion in a way that felt really, I don’t know, rich for us. And I think really different than what we’ve seen particularly with themes of like love and relationships in this one, it just felt really exciting.

Natalie Portman on her Thor vs. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor:

They are completely different. But I think he’s obviously very assured and experienced in being a superhero, and she’s just trying to figure it out. She’s new at it.  And also keeps reverting to human form, so there’s kind of danger always that, like, it might be her last moment getting to experience that.  I don’t know that might be a big spoiler, sorry.

Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, July 8, 2022

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott Menzel has been watching film and television since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by the films of Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associate's Degree in Marketing, a Bachelor's in Mass Media, Communications, and a Master's in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name change occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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