‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: ‘We are witnessing an all-out war on women’ – Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman makes a strong comeback in “Thor: Love and Thunder” as her Jane Foster character transforms into Mighty Thor when she wields Mjolnir. Artificially grown for the needs of the feature film, but naturally muscular, the actress spoke with conviction about the need to offer strong women on the big screen, especially in these troubled times.

Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, is not a superhero like the others. He is the only character to have had four films devoted to him, in addition to appearing in three Marvel feature films, as well as the television series “What If…?”.

Natalie Portman, she is not an actress like the others. Besides her performance in “Léon” alongside Jean Reno, she was also part of the “Star Wars” franchise, received two Golden Globes, for “The Black Swan” and “Intimate”, a BAFTA and an Oscar, both for “The Black Swan”. She is also a producer, screenwriter and director, and participated, with Tessa Thompson, who is reprising her role as Valkyrie, in the creation of “Time’s Up”, an association that legally helps victims of gender-based violence in the context of their employment. .

In combat

If she agreed to reprise her role as Jane, in which she was last seen in ‘Thor: A Dark World’ – indeed, her appearance in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was done through reshoots filmed for the previous film – it’s because she was no longer “that little bitch”. Now she fights alongside Thor and Valkyrie to fend off the threat posed by Gorr (Christian Bale), with the film directed by Taika Waititi being a decidedly wacky, colorful and entertaining comedy.

“My view of superheroes has changed over the years. Having the opportunity to play Jane was an interesting way to explore the role of a superhero who is both vulnerable and weak while finding exceptional strength. I’ve seen all the work that goes into playing a superhero, something I wasn’t aware of when I was just playing the “pitoune” on duty. I did not see everything that was going on behind the scenes, the choreography of the fights, the training”, she indicated during the press conference for the presentation of the film which preceded the interview with the QMI Agency. .

“After seeing Chris play Thor for so many years, it was crazy to try out the costume, it was surreal,” she said. Her training lasted 10 months, an almost full year during which she lifted weights, did boxing, Pilates, jump rope and many other exercises in order to make her develop the muscles that we see in the screen. And during filming, she started her days around 4:30 a.m. in order to include an hour of daily sport.

Natalie Portman being small, she is 1.60m tall, director Taika Watiti had to find a way to make her appear taller next to Chris Hemsworth, who is 1.90m tall. The solution was relatively simple: the actress was moving on a raised platform. “I salute everyone’s imagination which made it possible to choose a little actress,” she said, laughing.

Invented either just after the Second World War or in the 1960s and 1970s, superheroes are more popular today than ever, Marvel and DC fighting with hundreds of millions of dollars and special effects always more spectacular to bring the adventures of masked vigilantes to the big screen.

“I’m so lucky that Jane turns into Mighty Thor and I think the first comic that includes this change dates back to 2014,” she said in an interview with QMI Agency. The fact that Jane is a scientist had never been explored with more importance than in this film. And her becoming a superhero was an amazing opportunity.”

A war on women

Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Harley Quinn, Valkyrie… and now Mighty Thor, heroines with astonishing powers are now legion to the delight of fans. But the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal abortion right came with terrible irony over the weekend of premieres, press conferences and interviews for “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Interviewed the day after the announcement, Natalie Portman did not hesitate to jump into the subject with both feet when the opportunity arose.

“Super heroines are indeed needed more than ever. At the moment, we are witnessing an all-out war against women in our country as well as in other regions of the world. The representations of different possibilities, of different empowerment for women are a crying need today. I look to the powers of my female colleagues for inspiration and comfort.”

“Thor: A Dark World” was released in 2013, that is to say nine years ago, an eternity for the cinema industry, now marked by the advent of the #MeToo movement in 2016. But this These changes weren’t what struck Natalie Portman the hardest on set.

“Taika is a singular creator and I had never worked with someone like him. It was a joy to be on his set and that’s the main difference of this film when I compare it with everything I’ve done before. He brings such joy and spontaneity to every moment of filming that it almost feels like he has a responsibility to make sure everyone on set has fun. He constantly puts on music, he spends his time making jokes, he is so warm and kind. His humor is always generous and is never humiliating for others. It creates a fully collaborative environment. He incorporates everyone’s ideas into the production and it makes us all feel like part of a family.”

“Thor: Amour et tonnerre” hits Quebec screens in force on July 8.

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‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: ‘We are witnessing an all-out war on women’ – Natalie Portman