Thor Ragnarok - Thor, Valkyrie and Bruce Banner

We’ve heard that when Thor meets Valkyrie he’s a bit of a fan, that he’s heard about her. Can you speak to that or what it’s been like working with her?

CH: Yeah, it’s like Thor’s meeting his hero. He’s absolutely smitten by her because of her history being Valkyrie and all of that.  But she’s also this beautiful woman, so he’s kind of caught off guard. She could beat the shit out of him if she wanted. I think he hasn’t come up against that very often. It certainly wasn’t the case with Jane Foster. It was a whole different sort of affection. So that was again another, how can we make that different from the previous one.

So Thor is just kinda over Jane now?

CH: We have some very respectable fun with how that relationship may have come to a mutual end. *laughter*

It seems like Thor has met more of a match phsyically in this film than he has in past ones. The idea of being in a gladiator ring with Hulk, it’s gonna be more fun for you to play knowing maybe you don’t really get to win this one.

CH: Yeah, for sure. With the origin story, there’s so much room there because you get to start from nothing and you’re in that ride. Then you get to the end of the film, and you’re the hero, and you’re strong. Then you come to the next film, and how do we break him down again? So it’s removing Thor from his environment and his world where he dominated a lot of the fight scenes. Putting him in a situation where all of sudden he’s fairly equal with everybody. He’s perhaps gonna use his brain more, or as much as, his brawn, which I think a smart thing for the writers to do. He’s up against it the whole way through this and no step he takes is easy when he’s climbing this particular mountain.

Tessa Thompson said earlier that you helped her deal with some of the criticism her casting received because of your experience to backlash from Ghostbusters.  I’m just curious of your take on that.

CH: I can’t remember what I said. But the criticism, I try not to pay too much attention to it. I know when she brought it up, I said it’s far easier to point out the negatives in things, and people do, unfortunately. That negative tone is often louder than the positive one, unfortunately. It is what it is. Next week they’ll have something else to talk about and so on. At the end of the day she was the best person for the job, and when people see her play that character they’ll absolutely agree.

She’s pretty fantastic and physically capable. You have some people who come in and it’s, “Oh yeah, can you do fight scenes?” “Yeah, yeah, I can do fight scenes.” Awesome. “Can you do gymnastics?” And they just say yes to everything, and then you go, “We’re gonna need to bring a good double in.” But she’s trying nonstop through this. The physicality matches the emotional tone of the character, too. And that’s a hard balance to show.

Thor Ragnarok BTS - Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth

I talked to the Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony & Joe Russo a couple weeks ago and Joe specifically said Thor is who he’s most looking forward to working with. He was so gung-ho about the events of Ragnarok and where they leave Thor, so I wonder in what ways, if you can share, does this tie into the future?

CH: Yeah, sure. They all do. It’s its own film, too though. We didn’t wanna get bogged down in Infinity stones and da-da-da-da, because I don’t even understand that stuff a lot of the time.

Yeah, we saw the mockumentary *laughter*

CH: *laughter* There you go! That was my drawing. Yeah, I spoke to the Russos before I even had the script for this and asked, “How does this link into that? What can we look out for? How do we continue this tone?  ‘Cause we wanted to do something different here. So it was nice I felt that sort of encouragement from them. It started early, too.

But for The Avengers 4 story, I don’t even have a script for that yet. But again, without giving anything away, this definitely bleeds nicely into that, as they all tend to do. This being called Ragnarok, which everyone knows what that means, it obviously is gonna affect the larger universe.

You mentioned the story is very much a homecoming for Thor, so I’m curious just how it feels to be coming back to Australia with this production.

CH: Awesome. I hadn’t shot here for years, probably since I went to Hollywood, 10 or 12 years ago. Any time production would talk, “Oh where are we gonna shoot?” It’s, you know, Detroit or Vancouver, and then London for the last six or seven years, and I love shooting there. But if there was an opportunity to get back here to Australia, especially since we’ve moved back here, that was the dream.

Pirates of the Caribbean had just shot here, it’s obviously Disney, so I said, well, you made it work there with that film, can’t you do it with this one. They were open to it and said, “We’ll look into it,”, and thankfully it panned out. Great to be an hour from my actual home, and sleep in my own bed, and my kids and wife are here. My daughter still gets to go to school here. That’s the hardest thing, having kids and family and uprooting everybody off into a new location for four months to set up shop again. We didn’t have to do that this time around, which is wonderful.

*The scene we saw being filmed involved a confrontation between Thor, Valkyrie, Hulk, Loki and Hela. We’re told this is from the final act of the movie, so we weren’t allowed to listen to the audio for fear of knowing too many spoilers. We could only see what was happening on the monitors and what the cast members were wearing and wielding*

We saw on the bridge that you’re wielding dual-fisted swords. Can you tell us a bit about the training and why Thor is choosing swords this time? Where’s the hammer?

CH: Where is the hammer? Good question. Can’t tell you where.

It’s in bed.

CH: It’s in bed! *laughter* Taking a nap. *laughter* With the swords, it’s part of the costume being different from what it was before. The cape is not in the best shape, and he’s got something stuck to his shoulder. It’s this makeshift kind of costume, and the weapons are kind of get-what-you-can – so I think it says a lot about the journey he’s going on and where he is at in that point of the film. So I can’t tell you exactly where the hammer is.

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