With so much attention being paid to Thor’s butt and Christian Bale’s Uncle Fester-looking Gorr the God Butcher (seriously, it’s all I can see), let’s not overlook the biggest draw of Thor: Love and Thunder: Natalie Portman is back — in ripped form.
Director and writer Taika Waititi promised the Oscar-winning actress that she would have a less “boring” time in Thor: Love and Thunder than she did playing Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies. But to transform into the Mjolnir-wielding Mighty Thor, she had to get mighty ripped. “On Black Swan, I was asked to get as small as possible,” she told Variety. “Here, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge — and also state of mind as a woman.”
Portman worked with a trainer for 10 months to bulk up for the role, although there was some movie magic needed to make her seem as big as co-star Chris Hemsworth.
Another unexpected benefit for Portman to embracing her newfound sense of size has been watching others around her have to contend with it. Quite literally on Love and Thunder: Jane’s Mighty Thor stands six feet tall, and since there’s no healthy way yet for an actor to grow nearly 10 inches, the crew had to get creative to bring Portman to the proper height for scenes in which she walked with her co-stars.
Portman’s determination is no surprise to Kara Nortman, who co-owns the Angel City FC soccer team with the actress and activist. “I’m always telling Natalie she’s as much of an athlete as any of us,” she said. “I think of her as Thor every day.”
Thor: Love and Thunder comes out on July 8.