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Thor: Playing the Immortals

The cast of 'Thor' discusses bringing the immortal heroes and villains to life!

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By Odin’s beard! We’re celebrating the May 6 release of “Thor” with a bevy of daily new content, from interviews with the cast and crew of the film to looks back at key stories from the comics and even more surprises! Visit Marvel.com every day for new Thor Month coverage, and mark your calendars for May 6 as the Odinson flies onto the bigscreen!

By Zack Zeigler

Chris Hemsworth stars in "Thor"

A super hero's origin has to tell a compelling, emotional story that all moviegoers can connect with. Of course, while certain aspects of the character can be altered or omitted, there has to be a certain respect that gives comic loyalists what they want in their protagonist.

For the lead in “Thor,” blond-haired, 6’3” Chris Hemsworth had most of the look to own the part, but he lacked the bulk to fill the role. That meant hours of pushing plates in the gym.

“I’d never really lifted weights to that capacity beforehand,” Hemsworth said, referring to his strict diet and training regimen for “Thor.” “For a good six months.…I had to force feed myself 20 chicken breasts and rice and steak. It was all very boring.”

And after he hit the weight room, it was time to hit the books.

“I read enough [comics] to get a sense of who he was and a knowledge of the world [in] which he lived, and then I read up on Norse mythology…but on set, it was just about making it truthful and finding a way, a simpler way that I could relate to it.”

Discovering the truth about his character meant understanding the bigger picture: realizing tension and conflict had to arise from those around him, namely his father, Odin, and his younger brother, Loki.

“Instead of thinking, ‘How do I play a powerful god?’ it became about a father, his sons, and two brothers. And when you personalize that it helps ground the story.”

Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki in "Thor"

Added Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, “If you boil ‘Thor’ down to its barest elements, it’s two sons competing for the love, affection, and pride of their father.”

For Sir Anthony Hopkins, the third piece to the puzzle, the part became more of a personal conquest as opposed to another movie role in his long, storied film career.

“I think I’d gone through a patch where I was getting very indifferent, and I could care less about anything,” Hopkins admitted. “And then to work with [director] Ken [Branagh], he just pushed the right buttons to get me to give my best.”

And at times that meant allowing the character to react, instead of allowing the actor to overthink.

“I let the armor and the beard do the acting for me,” Hopkins said. “You don’t have to act. It’s like John Wayne said, ‘When you’re in the desert, you don’t have to act; you let the desert do it for you.’”

 

For more Thor, visit the film's official site and our "Thor" movie page!


Buy your "Thor" tickets now on Fandango, Moviefone or MovieTickets.com!

Check out the list of Required Reading: Thor Collections, and find the best jumping-on points with Thor: Where to Start!

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the epic adventure "Thor" spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

"Thor" is from a screenplay by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Don Payne and a story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige will produce the film. Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David Maisel and Marvel Studio’s Co-President, Louis D'Esposito, will executive produce.

In addition to "Thor," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Captain America: The First Avenger" on July 22, 2011; "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 4, 2012; and "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013.

 

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