News on the ambitious Thor: Ragnarok has slowly been rolling out over the past few days. A few of the highlights are the redesign of Thor, Hela as the first female villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and our first look at Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. Giving the role to the former Creed actress was a surprise for many, and the director Taika Waititi is quite convinced of her portrayal of the character. Entertainment Weekly had a chance to sit down with her and find out more about her role in the upcoming Marvel film.
Be warned, as she also talks about some plot points surrounding her character, so if you want to avoid anything that could be a potential spoiler, continue reading at your own risk.
She offers a bit of insight into how her character comes into contact with Thor and some insight into her background. She was Asgardian in the comics, but it was unsure how much they would change about the character. She also hints at a potential alliance that could offer some interesting twists and turns before Ragnarok hits.
She is originally [from Asgard]. When we meet her and she meets Thor in Sakaar, I can’t really say much about what she’s doing there but she does have a relationship with Jeff Goldblum’s character — it’s a business relationship. She finds Thor and brings Thor to the Grandmaster thinking he might be of interest. The rest is a secret.
It will be interesting to see why she left Asgard and how her relationship with Thor will be in this film. Sakaar seems to be a world where a lot of the characters will come together. Her working together with Grandmaster could open up the story to potential betrayals, or a larger reason why everyone is gathering on this planet.
An interesting aspect is also how taxing the role was for the actress. Chris Hemsworth puts in a lot of work to prepare for his role and it seems that he was not the only one. Thompson offers what her inspiration was as she was preparing for the role and how much work she put into it:
Taika sent me a picture of Sarah Connor in [Terminator 2]. She’s incredibly buff and really lean and in leather. I took it seriously. I was like, “Cool, I want to look like Sarah Connor and do like 10 pull ups.” By the time I was Valkyrie I could do 10 pull ups in one set and take a break and then do 10 more. I got really, really strong and buff.
Many were amazed by the complete redesign of Thor’s armor, and this design also carries over with the other characters. Some behind-the-scene pictures highlight quite a different set design than what was used in previous installments. The interview reveals why Thor ends up with his shorter hair and she hints at some reasoning for Valkyrie’s own armor design.
That was sort of a Taika remix. Marvel was really great, like “Do what you will with these characters.” In Ragnarok, you’ll see a Banner like you’ve never seen before. You’ll see Thor with the short hair, which happens when he becomes this gladiator for the Grandmaster. But you really do get to see these established characters in a new way. Obviously if they were really dedicated to the source material they would not have cast me.
As far as the armor, she’s such a bad ass that she doesn’t need a lot of metal to protect her. I’m essentially in leather. I have some really cool, like, chain mail like basically with my arms I can sort of shield and use them as weapons as well. I wield two daggers, which are sort of attached to me. And I also have a very special sword.
It is a rather interesting that she mentions a special sword that she wields in the film. Maybe we could see her wielding a famous weapon of Norse mythology? The two daggers attached to her also sound like an interesting weapon of choice that makes her stick out among other Asgardians. Up to this point they primarily wielded swords and axes, so her using daggers is a nice touch.
It’s so fun! I remember one of my first days I’m all suited up and I have a cape and a sword and I feel really cool. You don’t anticipate things like just constantly tripping on your cape. So it was really fun to have Chris and Tom Hiddleston be like “Oh, get the short cape!” I was like, Oh I didn’t know I could get the short cape!
She also gave her opinion on representation in film, especially the Thor franchise. We get a look into her perspective on the matter of her taking over a role that was considered a female Thor-clone before we literally got a female Thor.
Yeah, it’s really great. We have so many conversations particularly now about representation in film. I think the unfortunate thing about a lot of these fantasy movies is when they’re based on source material a lot of these comics were written in a time when that wasn’t a part of the conversation as far as having representation. Not just having characters that reflect the world we live in but how we represent the characters. If we were also dedicated to the source material, Valkyrie would potentially be a female Thor but she’s fighting in basically a bathing suit, which is also absurd. So we had a conversation of, what is a strong look? Like, she should probably be in pants. That probably makes more sense for the kind of work she’s doing. And we had conversations about her sort of feeling like a tomboy and having a certain masculinity about her while still being very much a woman.
Last but not least, we got some information on if we could see Valkyrie appear in the ambitious Avengers: Infinity War. She highlights her enthusiasm for the possibility of appearing in the film, as well as returning to the MCU at some point down the line.
You never know where people will pop up. In the next phase, the hope is to find ways to interweave all these characters, and certainly with Infinity War, those are the culmination of a lot of work since Iron Man. She’s part of the tapestry now. For me, it’s exciting to join at a time with young actors like Brie Larson and Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. We’re all hopefully going to meet in one of these movies.
She is certainly happy about her role in the film and has a lot of hope for Valkyrie becoming an integral part of the universe moving forward. Maybe she would take over the Thor franchise once Hemsworth steps down from the role?
What is your opinion? Are you looking forward to seeing Valkyrie come to life on the silver screen?
Source: Entertainment Weekly