Natalie Portman returns as the new Goddess of Thunder

Natalie Portman is an actress, director, producer and even a writer of children’s books who throughout her career has participated in several productions that are considered cinematographic and has received numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the film “Black Swan” (2010). Even so, what perhaps many do not remember is that in 2011 she participated in “Thor”, one of the first films of the Cinematic Universe of Marvel (MCU, for its acronym in English), but after returning to play the character of Jane Foster in “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) she had not returned to participate in that franchise. All that changes now with “Thor: Love and Thunder”, the new installment of the MCU directed by Taika Waititi in which Portman returns to embody Jane Foster, who is now a superhero with the powers of Thor. Here the actress tells us about her experience returning to the MCU and finally playing a superhero.

What was it that initially attracted you to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Marvel?

I was very excited to work “Thor” (2011) with Kenneth Branagh in a great superhero movie, especially since it was inspired by Norse mythology. It seemed to me that someone who comes from the theater of Shakespeare would make a very interesting version. And then Thor took off in an unexpected direction with Taika leading the way. It was very exciting to go back to the same kind of world, but under a completely different lens.

What do you remember about your work on the first “Thor” movie?

It was amazing to work with such great talents like Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in the early days of their characters in Marvel. Seeing actors before the world sees them is something special and incredible, especially when it comes to actors of that caliber. So that was wonderful. Then working with Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård, who I worked with the most on the film, was a lot of fun as they have such a special energy.

What was it like working with Chris Hemsworth again?

It’s amazing to see Chris’s talent. He has great agility to move from very serious scenes to extreme comedy. He has extraordinary comedic talent. He is very quick in his mind to change things, take in information, react in a creative way and come up with new ideas. He is very committed to his work and works very hard, and it is really very impressive to see him work. I always have to remind myself that I have to act on the scene and not just watch.

How did your character, Jane Foster, change in this film?

In previous movies, Jane was a scientist who needed help and was saved by Thor, but in this movie she is looking for her own solutions and going her own way. She’s fighting alongside Thor and they’re teaming up, but Jane is blazing her own trail, which is very exciting.

What did you think when Taika Waititi first told you about the story?

Taika came to my house to chat because I hadn’t been home for a while. Marvel. When he explained to me how Jane would become the Mighty Thor, he fascinated me to think what that experience would be like. Working on the film was a really exciting challenge because there was a lot of improvisation and Taika really makes you work.

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In this film we see the reunion between Jane Foster and Thor. (© MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT 2022)

How was the experience of being directed by Taika?

Taika is always so much fun to work with. He is funny on camera and off camera. Even when we’re not filming, he’s always trying to make people laugh. He really is the life of the party, playing music, cracking jokes and using the microphone to say funny things while we’re getting ready for the next take. He has such a cute energy and keeps everyone relaxed and fun. I don’t know how he has the energy to do it, because he does so many things. Directing a film of this scale is a huge job, but he gets the energy flowing in a creative and fun way.

Was it challenging to alternate between the comic and serious moments in the film?

I think Taika knows very well how to reflect the reality of life, it’s dark and funny at the same time. Most of the time, when we are in the most serious and dark moments, we try to distract ourselves with humor. It’s funny sometimes because the darkest parts of life can be totally absurd. Taika knows very well how to do that and he knows how important humor is when the world is falling apart. It’s a dangerous and difficult balance to strike, but somehow Taika pulls it off in an extraordinary way.

What can you tell us about Gorr, the Butcher of the Gods?

Gorr is played by Christian Bale and he is a terrifying villain. He is very, very scary. All of us were a little scared in Gorr’s presence. He is trying to get revenge on the gods because he feels betrayed by them.

What did you think of Russell Crowe’s performance in the role of Zeus?

It was so much fun watching Russell Crowe play Zeus and seeing what an extraordinary sense of humor he had with the character. It was great to see him do silly things. I think we’re very used to seeing him in strong, heroic roles, so it was really funny to see him loosen up like that.

What was it like working with Tessa Thompson and having two superheroes on screen?

Tessa is a brilliant and formidable actress. It was very nice to be able to work with her again. We worked together a few years ago on “Annihilation” (2018) and it was great to see his talent with the sword and as a king. We had a lot of fun showing ourselves on screen as sisters in battle.

Was it strange working with Taika in the role of Korg?

It was very exciting to work with Korg, who is my children’s favorite character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel. That gave me points at home. It is impressive to see Taika in and out of the role of director and acting in the scenes. He comes up with a lot of things, both when he’s in character and when he’s directing.

How did you physically prepare for the role?

It was a lot of fun training myself, for the first time in my life, to gain strength. Women, in general, train to be as small as possible, so it was interesting to work on gaining size and muscle. I worked with an amazing trainer, Naomi Pendergast, and also with the stunt team. Despite having been in many action movies, he had never done any fight training. It was very exciting.

In this film you were finally able to wield the magical hammer Mjolnir, how did it feel?

It was great to fight with Mjolnir. He made me change the way he moved me and the way he held it. I had a very special fighting style because I had to use the hammer.

What can you tell us about the camaraderie on set?

It was without a doubt a fun, happy set. We all laughed a lot, had fun with each other and enjoyed each other’s company. And I think that comes from above. Taika is very funny, very warm and open, and genuinely cares about creating a pleasant environment for everyone.

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