Director & Cast Interviews for Marvel Studios' THOR
Published: December 10, 2010 - 10:29am
Kenneth Branagh and actors Tom Hiddleston, Jaime Alexander, Colm Feore, Joshua Dallas and Ray Stevenson discuss the inner workings of their characters while on the set of the comic book adaptation Thor.
Thor stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander, Stellan Sarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg and Ray Stevenson; among others. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh and tells the story of the powerful but arrogant warrior, who is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. Thor is scheduled for 2D and 3D theatrical release on May 6th, 2011.
Kenneth Branagh (Director)
Kenneth Branagh: It’s a huge scale. But you can see the set… the hydraulics… it took months and month, actually years of planning. This is actually my eighteenth, nineteenth month on the project, and I’m enjoying it hugely. It’s massive and it what it contains actually that has a parallel to what the comics have is this is a combination of very personal stories that we recognize, you know, fathers and sons, but they’re amongst families of enormous power and consequence, so when they have an argument, the rest of the universe suffers, you know. And so they’re personal to the epic kind of thing, is, I think, is very enjoyable, from very intimate scenes with this challenge to try and find a way of talking that fulfills what I think people love about the comics, which is this sort of differentness and distinctiveness — you believe that they’re gods, they’re non-human. But, I don’t want them sounding like Shakespearean times and sounding in any way non-human. in a strange way, so the blur of the comics is always to make the feel at one and the same time, they’re god and they’re just like us. So far, I think we’ve trying to capture that well. We’re blessed with the actors. We have an amazing group of people who’ve been very excited, very motivated. They all came with incredible passion for the characters, for the comics, for the stories. You’ve probably spoken to some of them. Jaimie Alexander absolutely knows chapter and verse on set.
Yesterday, we were shooting… am I allowed to say this? But Stan Lee I had lunch with a year ago, starting to talk about this. He was around yesterday. Incredible passion for it all. We’ve been involved with other key people who are part of the Marvel World. We’re trying to find that balance that is in touch with what I believe is sort of learning from the past. It’s not an accident that Marvel is here now, the comics are here, that Joe Straczynski’s version of the comics is doing a fantastically imaginative treatment of the character and the landscapes of Asgard and contemporary Earth. What I’ve really enjoyed is the collaboration of all of that. My job is to guide and direct and move things along a bit, but it’s trying to select from a vast amount of talent that are around who know these stories so well. So I feel like … this one? These people have an incredible knowledge and incredible enthusiasm. It feels… it has… around Marvel and this project is kind of awash with passion and distinctiveness. People enjoy the challenges of it. Lots of ways to get it wrong. And lots of pitfalls to avoid. That makes it very interesting and very difficult, but really thrilling when you think you’ve got somewhere near it. But, you know, we’ve got miles to go and promises to keep and all sorts of things that we need to get right. But its been really huge, huge fun and challenging and continues to be so. I’m having a ball and just trying to do my best with it.
Tom Hiddleston (Loki)
“I start in the film as Thor’s younger brother and I think in the manner of all younger brothers I have a greater sense of freedom. I’m not the oldest therefore the parental expectations aren’t as heavy, so it’s like a lot of younger children in sibling groups; I think Loki has a bit more freedom. He’s not going to be King. He knows that. And so he’s freer to…he has less responsibility on his shoulders so he’s freer to have a bit more fun. And I think like everybody at Marvel has been very clear and brilliant about coming into this that Loki just has…they’re both enormously gifted. Thor and Loki are a 2-man team and they’re both going to run Asgard when Oden steps down, and Thor has an ability and a physicality and a presence—a physical presence that is…he’s the type of man you follow. You just do.
In the same way they used to talk about all the leaders and the captains and the generals that came out of both World Wars that those captains and generals weren’t necessarily elected just in battles. There were certain men who were followed. You know, leaders were born and Thor is that guy. And Loki’s gifts are different in that he is sharper, he’s cleverer, he’s more interested in tactics and strategy. He’s capable of thinking ahead and he enjoys chaos. So he enjoys reacting to chaos and that affects how given that he’s the God of mischief. Mischief is essentially chaos. He likes stoking the fire of chaos and seeing what happens as a result. And so I think that’s where we start in that he’s just physically not as strong, but he has…he’s quicker and sharper and I guess that’s fair to say…then over the course of the story and I can’t say the full story, but there is a kind of….a couple of major shocks about Loki and his history and who he is and why he is come to him. He’s made aware of for the very first time in the films. There are certain things that fans of the comics will already know, but hopefully you see Loki learn certain things about himself for the first time. So it’s a journey of self-awareness. He doesn’t, at the beginning of the film, know his own power and I think through the course of the film he comes to learn his true nature and the extent of his power. But with a propensity for mischief I think as soon as he knows how powerful it is that’s when it becomes dangerous.”
Colm Feore (Laufey)
I am the King of Frost Giants. And if you’ve seen any of the Frost Giants, you know that I am, of course, the Napoleon of Frost Giants. We’ve got some massive, fabulous guys who dwarf me and come in at around eight-and-a-half feet, nine feet. But, no. Can’t you tell by the commanding presence? I am the boss. The music will be big. When I show up there’ll be a big storm, there’ll be wind. No, it’s worked out beautifully. It’s very articulated and articulatable. The face moves with me. I have every range of expression. And, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to talk to Ken at all, but he’s brilliant. He’s brilliant for a lot of reasons. Not least of all because he’s been an actor his whole life. So he knows how to tighten the narrative of what he would do as an actor, so he can get inside and say three helpful words on a very tight schedule, an expensive schedule and just get right to the heart of the point. But he also is looking for most of it, here, right? It’s gotta be in the eyes. And if they don’t work, we’ve got nothing. So it had to be this expressive. [pauses for a scene being shot in the background] See this is way more acting than I’m being paid for. I’m much more subtle. They’re young, you see. Enthusiastic.
I looked at a lot of the comics and I tried to just get an idea from that. Not necessarily specifics of what my look would be or what the plan would be because I knew the script was evolving. I then started the discussion with Ken, who had been in discussion with you guys, intimately. And that they’d pared it down. So I didn’t want to spend too much time going all over the map on this. I thought, “Okay, what do you really want?” And he said, “If you’re very, very good, I’ll send you a secret link to a secret site and you can have a secret look at a teeny little picture which will melt the moment you say ‘click ok’ and it’ll melt with your initials on it so you’re doomed if it goes anywhere else.” And I said, “Okay. Let me see that and then I want you to tell me what you’d like it to sound like.”
Jaimie Alexander (Sif)
The relationship between Thor and Sif in this movie is quite platonic. I mean, they’re good buddies, they’ve grown up with each other, they’re warriors, they fight side by side. We haven’t take it to the next level yet. I’m going to throw that in there. But yeah, she kind of thinks he’s a little bit pig-headed, but she loves him nevertheless, you know, she’s like that’s my buddy, I’ll do what I can for him. But she’ll definitely call him on his shit, which I like. Because it’s kind of how I am, with Chris.
We have Volstagg, who Ray Stevenson is playing, and he’s kind of a jolly good time-Um, Tadanobu Asano’s not with us today, but his double is here, and he plays Hogun, he’s Hogun the grim. Actually, Tadanobu’s really funny, but he doesn’t get to be in this part. Maybe a little bit. Um, and, I forget who else is in this thing. Josh. Who plays Fandral. He’s Fandral the dashing, and he’s been loads of fun to work with. And uh, you know, he’s definitely always schmoozing the ladies and that sort of thing. His character. He’s married, he doesn’t do that in real life. Uh, I should shut up. And then of course Loki, who is our hellion And he’s, and that’s actually Tom (Hiddleston) has actually helped me a lot with my accent, because he is the standard RP British accent on his own, so I’ve worked a lot with him to sort of match him and we kind of all match him in the movie.
I’ll fight alongside [Loki in the film] , but you know, he’s not as good of a fighter as me. Um, and that’s kind of the attitude I had with him sometimes. Um, but still, the six, the core six of them are very much friends, and it, I think, certain things that happen throughout the film are a little shocking to Sif.
Ray Stevenson (Volstagg)
I’m Volstag and what you see is what you get. He’s a bon vivant lover of life epicurean goodfellow. He’s a god, which helps. He’s full of life. He reminds me very much of Falstaff. There’s a wonderful innocence to him and the steadfast loyalty of a big Saint Bernard dog. He’d come running through the snow with a keg of beer to save your life. You know, he’s got a twinkle in his eye. He’s always up for a party. Yeah, that’s about it. He’s an all-around good egg. Big egg, but a good egg.
It’s a real honor to represent such a company as Marvel, too. They have a lot of faith if it means I can come back and do it again all suited up. It’s all about the integrity of their characters. They care so much about the loyalty and integrity of each and every character and all of their stories. They trust and love their readership. They’re the ones who have invested in these stories. They’re the ones who have went out and bought the comic book whenever it came out. They’re the real investors. They serve them. Having a chance to be part of that Marvel Universe is just — well, it is what it is. It’s just fantastic.
Joshua Dallas (Fandril)
Fandril. Fandril the dashing, I think he would like to think of himself. A philanderer. He would like to think of himself, I was saying, as the R. Kelley of Asgard. He’s a lover, not a fighter. You know what I’m saying? I’ve seen Trapped in the Closet and Keep It On the Downlow. All that kind of stuff. Fandril is a fun-loving guy. He’s a ladies man. It’s always debatable how successful he is at that. He thinks he’s pretty successful. He thinks that all the ladies love him and, if they don’t, then they will soon come around to the idea of loving him. He’s fiercely loyal to Thor and the Warriors Three. They look out for each other. They would rather have a good time, but if he’s gotta fight, he’ll fight. But, yeah. He’s a great character to play. [Erroll Flynn] He was a big inspiration for the character and for me. I watched a lot of his movies and kind of got that into my bones. I tried to bring out that little bit of Flynn-ness in it. Flynn had a lot of that boyish charm that Fandril’s got all that in him.
[In one scene] he had a run-in with some guys. He got a little hurt, but he went out with style and it’s all okay. But, yeah, he’s just a little hurt. A mere flesh wound. And Volstag, he’s helping me out. His heart is as big as his stomach and he’s looking out for me.
Many thanks to Collider.com for their in-depth coverage. To read their full interviews with each of the Thor movie cast members, follow the link below.