MomsLA was invited by Disney/Marvel Studios to screen Thor: Ragnarok and attend the press junket, which was attended by Taika Watiti, the Director of the film, Tom Hiddelston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk & Bruce Banner), Chris Hemworth (Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Rachel House (Topaz), Karl Urban (Scurge), and Kevin Feige from Marvel Studios. Look for our review of the film coming out November 3rd.
Thor: Ragnarok is the latest in the comic book movies from Marvel Studios and Disney, and in a departure for the studio, they hired a Director, Taika Watiti (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), known for much smaller films prior to taking the helm of this epic. And Thor star Chris Hemsworth felt it was the key to making the film what it turned out to be.
“We had a vision, to do something vastly different than what we’d done before. And it all came from Taika’s crazy, wonderful brain, his inspiration, his pushing us every day on set, constantly encouraging us to improvise, explore, and take risks. And it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set,” said Hemsworth.
For his part, Watiti, who’s known for his energy and sense of humor, felt he brought certain things to the film.
“I knew my strengths were tone, character, and relationships. I had to ignore the scale of this huge film and just keep reminding myself what’s more important is what’s ‘inside the rectangle.’ In the end it doesn’t matter the scale of the film – that’s always the same,” Watiti said.
Kevin Feige, a Producer on the film and the President of Marvel Studios, weighed in on the choice of Waititi to direct. “We wanted a new sensibility. We wanted to take Thor and build on the humor that’s always been there in Chris’ performance. And of course the movie’s got epic action,” Feige said.
Karl Urban, who plays Scurge in the film, said he “…really appreciated the environment that Taika (Watiti) created on the set. It was fun; it was focused. It felt like everybody had your back.”
Thor: Ragnarok introduced a new character to the screen from the Marvel Universe: Valkyrie. Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie, was asked whether she felt pressure playing a character who was drawn as a white woman in the comic books. Thompson, who is African-American, said, “My job is to capture the spirit of the character, and I think the spirit of all of us, at the risk of sounding cheesy, has very little to do with what color we are.” Thompson said that she was more concerned with being able to seem as strong as Thor even though she’s physically much smaller than Chris Hemworth. “How do I stand next to a person like Chris and feel like that’s true?”
Thompson was also asked about the possibility of a standalone movie about Valkyrie, an idea that she and everyone at the press junket felt would be a great idea.
Cate Blanchett, whose character Hela was described as a “badass,” was asked how she liked fighting with Chris Hemsworth in the movie. “I didn’t do enough of it,” Blanchett said. “I kept wanting to do more.” At that point, Chris Hemsworth chimed in: “You wanted to hit me,” and the audience laughed.
Blanchett continued: “It was hugely enjoyable for me, working with these guys – and the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit, and to wear that much Lycra was really exciting for me.” We’re sure seeing her in that much Lycra will be exciting for everyone.
Thor: Ragnarok opens in wide release on November 3rd.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com.