LOS ANGELES, CA – Thor, Marvel’s newest superhero franchise to come to the big screen, is likely to have something for comic fans and general audiences alike. A very hunky Chris Hemsworth takes the title role, supported by Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin.
At a press conference on Sunday May 1st 2011 at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Hemsworth and Hopkins were joined by costars Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, and Jaimie Alexander to discuss the upcoming premiere.
Director Kenneth Branagh received much praise from the cast, specifically Hopkins who joked that he had been, “phoning it in” for a while, but that Branaugh had been “fearless, gave [him his] chops back.”
Hopkins went on to explain Branagh would always ask for “one more take” to capture the complexity of the father and son relationship depicted in the film. Hemsworth added, “it was a freeing experience working with Ken. He pushed you in every single direction your character might go. Six or seven takes, each a different version of what might be done with that scene—‘Try this and smile through the whole thing. Okay, now give me vicious.’ It’s like forging metal. He would keep working it until it became as strong as it could be.”
Hiddleston, who plays Loki, attributed Branagh’s vivid descriptions of the computer generated characters (which were yet to be created) that enabled him to “act and react to bits of tape on a box or a tennis ball” that were stand-ins for the CGI monsters.
In preparation for the film, Hemsworth sought out the comics. Even at 6’4”, he realized early on that Thor was much more muscular, which lead him to a “full time body building workout routine” accompanied by eating “buckets of protein.” After the filming Hemsworth noticed “the weight did not sit naturally on my body,” and much of his hard work disappeared once he stopped the grueling routine.
Later on in the press conference, the writers and director came up on stage. Branagh explained what drew him to the story of Thor. He related how he found Thor to be “different from any other earth- bound hero. It reverses the superhero model; he has his powers at the beginning of the film, but when he is banished to earth they are taken away, right when he needs them the most.”
While green screen and CGI were a big part in the making of Thor, much effort went in to creating elaborate sets reminiscent of the “golden age” of Hollywood. Branagh wanted the cast to have a tangible set so they could react realistically to the fantastic world of Asgard. As the director he wanted to be in the “middle of the action,” so many of the fight scenes are shot from perspectives within the action.
Thor premieres May 6th and should be the IMAX and 3-D must-see experience of the summer. It has a healthy amount of humor interspersed through the action, which is bound to please all.