Sylvie's Fighting Style In 'Loki' Was Inspired By The Charlize Theron Action Movie 'Atomic Blonde'

This post contains spoilers for the third episode of Loki.

Jumping through the space-time portal had mixed results for Loki (Tom Hiddleston), but was a major win for fans. Episode 3 of the Disney+ series Loki allowed both the audience and its lead character to get acquainted with the mysterious Variant (Sophia Di Martino) that the TVA is determined to hunt down. And though Di Martino's Sylvie certainly confirmed herself to be a threat to the agency our "hero" has joined, this has not turned the audience against her: in addition to being a new version of a favorite character, Sylvie is also an absolute badass.

Along with her threatening enchantment powers and terrifying determination to single-handedly take down a time-bending bureaucratic agency, Sylvie has also shown off her combat capabilities. Fighting against everyone from TVA agents to Loki himself, Sylvie immediately proves to be an intimidating opponent. In a recent interview with CNET, Di Martino discusses her inspiration for Sylvie's fighting style:

One of the movies we watched for stunt references was Atomic Blonde — the fight scenes are great. Charlize Theron is super-strong and fights like a man.

Of course, it makes sense that action superstar Charlize Theron is a source of inspiration. Sylvie has the same no-nonsense, all-action persona that Theron embodies in her many action-heavy roles, including Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde and, more recently, Andy in the Netflix film The Old Guard.

Atomic Blonde was especially heralded for its fight choreography. Theron has a penchant for punching, kicking, and knifing. Learning from the best, Di Martino's Sylvie does much of the same, with the magical additions of enchanting and disintegrating. And in true Loki fashion, she does it all without an inkling of hesitation or self-doubt (because, at the very least, that's all very well-hidden).

Loki and Sylvie: A Matching Set?

It makes sense that Sylvie shares so many elements of Loki's personality — she is meant to be an alternate version of him. They realize this for themselves as the episode progresses: once the pair find themselves trapped on Lamentis-1, a moon quickly approaching its destruction, they are forced to join forces for a chance to escape (forced by Loki, that is). From there, much of the third episode is spent with the pair trying to figure one another out. But as much as they have in common, their differences are abundant. In addition to different childhoods and abilities, Di Martino revealed that even their fighting styles are intentionally individual.

We wanted Sylvie to be a brawler; we didn't want her to be too elegant in the way she fights because that's Loki's thing. He's so balletic in the way that he moves, but Sylvie is more of a street fighter.

Loki has always been all about his flourishes. Something about the way his cape sweeps behind him with each kick feels intentionally stylish. But the beauty of Sylvie's action scenes is how brutal her every movement is. Fighting the TVA guards, her rough hits and ridiculous flips off the walls are often punctuated by disintegrating the guard standing in her way. Loki interjects his action scenes with personality, waving goodbye to guards thrown off a moving train or pausing for quick-witted comments. But Sylvie never pulls her punches. Even as Loki expresses his desire to work with her, she stops at nothing.

As hopeless as things feel by the end of episode 3, with Lamentis-1 crumbling around them and no escape route in sight, perhaps Sylvie's resolve will be their saving grace.

Loki premieres new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.