5-foot-3 Natalie Portman plays 6-footer while Chris Hemsworth got bigger than ever

Iron Man. Captain America. Spiderman. Upcoming three sequels to Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Typically, Marvel Cinematic Universe standalone entries come in sets of three.

This week Thor: love and thunderHowever, it does mark the first MCU hero to get a fourth installment. But as any Marvel fan could tell you, it could very well be a second movie after 2017. Thor: Ragnarök dramatically reinvented the aesthetic of the Chris Hemsworth-directed space Viking series, with filmmaker Taika Waititi bringing his irreverent humor and jovial quirks to the franchise after the rather serious series Thor (2011) and more moody Thor: The Dark World (2013).

“This is like the second, second movie,” Waititi (What we do in the shadows, Jojo Rabbit) cracks during a recent press day in Los Angeles for the film. “The Second Sequel”.

The director and co-writer said the decision to go ahead with love and thunder came essentially on the opening night of the highly revered ragnarousk, as Waititi, Hemsworth, co-star Tessa Thompson and Marvel boss Kevin Feige drove through Los Angeles to wow audiences.

Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: love and thunder. (Photo: Jasin Boland / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Waititi also knew early on that at the top of his wish list for a fourth (or second) Thor would be returning Natalie Portman, who played scientist and love interest Jane Foster in the first two films, to the MCU, only that this time as the giant. Mighty Thor.

“I think if Taika had come to me asking me to do something, I would have said yes, because I’m a huge fan of him and his work,” says Portman, whose character grows taller as he takes control of the hammer Mjolnir. reconstructed from Thor.

“It’s very rare and I felt very lucky to be asked to play a 6-foot character as a 5-foot-3 woman. And so, imagine myself as big as possible, and then of course do the physical work, grow as big as she can. Obviously, there’s a lot of movie magic involved with getting to be 6 foot tall and tall, but it was really wonderful as a kind of mindset… Because we’re often asked to get smaller as women. And being tasked with taking up as much space as possible was a very beautiful thing to challenge myself with.”

Waititi says it meant Portman was in the gym every morning at 6 a.m.

“I trained very seriously to Black Swan but of course it went in the opposite direction,” she says of her Oscar-winning role as a ballet dancer in the acclaimed 2010 film. “It was to be as small as possible. It was also a lot of strength and a lot of technique and of course learning choreography, which is very similar to learning stunt choreography. But I have certainly [never been in the gym] lifting 20-pound weights to try to bulk up.”

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, from left: Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, 2022. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: love and thunder. (Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Not to be outdone, Hemsworth says he also got more protection than ever from love and thunder, which follows Thor, Mighty Thor, Valkyrie (Thompson), and Korg (Waititi) on a mission to stop an intergalactic killing spree by Gorr the God Butcher, influenced by Christian Bale’s Nosferatu. Although it was partly out of boredom.

“I was basically on lockdown like most people and had nothing else to do,” says Hemsworth.

“So I was training and perfecting my diet and training and training and training. And it was during the warmer months in Australia. So I was in my backyard just getting fit and healthy and basically had nothing else to do. So I had all the time in the world to talk to various coaches and [nutritionists] and exercise. We could refine what we wanted to sculpt and change the character. But it was funny.”

Check out our full interview with the cast above.

— Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by Jimmie Rhee

Thor: love and thunder opens on friday.

Watch the trailer:

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