Natalie Portman looks stronger than ever in the new installment of ‘Thor’. but she has a problem

It has been almost a decade since Natalie Portman was part of a Marvel film production. In 2013, the premiere of “Thor: The Dark World” allowed her to reprise the role of Jane Foster, a renowned astrophysicist turned love interest of the God of Thunder who had already appeared in “Thor” (2011), the first installment of the Avengers saga focused on the character played by Chris Hemsworth.

For reasons that have not necessarily been public, but that apparently had to do with a change of director and the personal desire to take care of a still very young son, the Oscar winner for “Black Swan” (2010) did not participate. in “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017), which seemed to indicate his definitive retirement from the saga.

However, his publicized return to the referred universe is proof that Portman had not closed those doors, and will be reflected in American theaters from July 8 through “Thor: Love and Thunder”, where a Jane is presented. which, in line with the events of some comics initially published in 2014, has taken on the powerful personality of Mighty Thor.

This implies that she now looks extremely muscular, that is, a circumstance that required a particularly intense physical preparation for the actress, who is far from being a corpulent woman and who has mostly played roles linked in some way to physical fragility.

Despite the acquired bodily strength, comic book fans know well that, amid the undoubted advantages of joining the ranks of superheroes, Foster was simultaneously facing a terminal illness whose presence in the film adaptation was recently confirmed. by the study, but that Portman preferred to avoid during the interview that he recently offered to the Los Angeles Times in Spanish, and that you can find below both in its written version and in the video version with Spanish subtitles.

What the Israeli-American did talk about is what it meant to wear the legendary suit, her happy reunion with Hemsworth, her work with New Zealand director Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”, “Jojo Rabbit”), the inclusive aspects of the film and, of course, of the training he went through to put himself in the skin of the character.

Natalie, you’re playing Jane Foster for the third time on film, at least formally, but right now, she’s at a very different stage in her life, both physically and emotionally. What were the challenges this time?

First of all, I was faced with a completely different way of working, which was also a wonderful way of working. I had to learn how I could prepare for this, because [el director] Taika [Waititi] does a lot of improvisation; new things come to mind every day. It was a lot of fun, but also very different for me. That was an entertaining challenge. And of course, there were also all the physical aspects. It was something new for me to have to learn that kind of choreography and do the cable work. Of course, most of those scenes were done by the wonderful stunt doubles I had, but I loved learning the aspects of that part of the job that I did get to do.

I know you felt very empowered wearing the Thor costume and his former hammer, but there are other moments in the movie where you had to be very vulnerable. Did you work those parts with Taika? Did you just use the script, or did you read some of the comics as well? Because I guess when you started playing her, you read the older comics, but this version, the Mighty Thor, started in 2014. How was the process in that sense?

Yes, I read the comics, which was very helpful, and obviously Taika was also a great guide. It was fun to imagine someone who just became a superhero and what it means to her, but also to imagine what happens because he has a life as a human at the same time. I found it very interesting to be able to play both sides.

You talked about improvising on set, something that was new to you. How was that?

Very entertaining. Being able to even experience the banter between Taika and Chris [Hemsworth] It was wonderful. tessa [Thompson] it was amazing too. Being around them was an incredible opportunity, an experience I will never forget. I had done dramatic improvisation before, and I think it’s something similar, because you have to think of ways in which your character would react to certain situations, but with very different intentions, obviously.

When you were involved in those kinds of scenes, were you doing multiple takes trying out different lines of dialogue?

Yes; pretty much every take was different, which is wonderful when editing. A lot of different movies could have been made with different versions of everything that was going on, which also made it all a lot of fun.

We have to talk about the chemistry that you have with Chris, because in this film there is definitely a great chemistry between you. They share several touching scenes, but also others that are funny, as you have already pointed out. What was it like working with him again after all these years?

It was amazing working with Chris again. The first time I did it, it was also wonderful, because no one knew who he was when we shot the first “Thor” and he was selected from among many actors. He had worked before, but he wasn’t who he is now in terms of popularity, and he’s still exactly the same person: profoundly good, kind, hard-working, talented, intelligent and completely professional. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. It was really interesting to meet him again after all the success he has had and see that essence of being an incredible human being that he has always had still intact.

I read that you had to train for 10 months. You’ve already said that you received a lot of help from your stunt doubles, but looking at your filmography shows that this is the film in which you’ve done the most action scenes, at least this kind of spectacular action scenes. Can you talk about that and getting to look the way you look in the movie, so muscular?

We came from being in confinement during the pandemic, from sitting on the couch and eating all the time to comfort ourselves. Also, I turned 40 when I was making this movie. I wanted to make sure that I was going to look as powerful as I could, that I wasn’t going to just hurt myself when I did what was asked of me, so I worked with a wonderful trainer, Naomi Pendergast, in Sydney, Australia; and it was amazing to get to a point where I felt very strong and able to do what I had to do. Like you say, there’s so much amazing stunt work, but I did a few things, and it was really good to have that physical strength, especially on my 40th birthday. I felt like I was the strongest I’ve ever been in my life.

Another scene from the tape.

Another scene from the tape.

(Marvel)

What do you think is the intention of the film? What would you like the audience to get out of it?

I think that first of all, what it offers is pure entertainment and happiness, something that we really like at the moment. I appreciate it. But I think it also explores love in its different forms and in a very genuine and emotional way, which also suits us right now.

Can you say something about the Marvel movies? Because there has been a lot of controversy about it. Many people love them, but others don’t; there have even been masters of cinema who have said something about it. You obviously like them because you’re part of this very successful franchise. Why do you think they are so attractive and why do you think some veterans don’t like them?

I think there should be no guardians of art or entertainment. Everything should be allowed. Every person who loves movies should preserve the possibility for all kinds of movies to be made, for all voices to be heard. It has been very difficult to get ahead for the smaller films, of course; but I think there are a lot of innovations being made now, that all these streaming platforms are opening up great possibilities to see things that you wouldn’t normally have access to.

It’s a subject that makes for a long conversation, but I think it all stems from a deep love of cinema, which is something I share. There are many ways and many goals in art in general and in the world of cinema, and everything should be allowed.

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