By Zack Zeigler
Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje hit the jackpot when he signed on for Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World.” When he landed the role of Algrim, a powerful warrior in Malekith’s (Christopher Eccleston) evil army of Dark Elves, he also scored the part of the beastly Kurse, who…actually, we’re not going to spoil it for you. To find out what happens, you’ll have to head to the theaters on November 8.
|Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje stars as Algrim/Kurse in "Marvel's Thor: The Dark World"|
The point is, Akinnuoye-Agbaje had to pull double duty. That’s of course a blessing in one sense, since what actor doesn’t want double the screen time and the opportunity to have scenes with every major character?
“The most time I spent was with Christopher Eccleston,” he said. “We are very much bonded in our vision of the world and our purpose in the movie, so we spent a lot of time together. But it’s great…I’ve got scenes with Tom Hiddleston (Loki) [and] Chris [Hemsworth] (Thor).”
The dual role could also be a Kurse--er, curse when it came to logging long hours in the makeup chair.
“For Algrim, [the makeup process] took about two and a half hours, possibly three; and for Kurse, it took about an hour and a half,” he said. “Sometimes I had to do them both on the same day, so we’re looking at about five hours. That’s just to put [the prosthetics] on or off…”
However, becoming Kruse, which included up to 40 pounds of excess armor on top of prosthetics, was considerably more laborious.
|Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) & Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) lead an army of Dark Elves in "Marvel's Thor: The Dark World"|
“It was a challenge, but…the suit itself was quite flexible and what…the bulk means [is that] you don’t have to act it,” Akinnuoye-Agbaje explained. “The burden is on you. So it’s very literal.”
At 6’2”, Akinnuoye-Agbaje has no trouble cutting a physically imposing silhouette. But to look natural and move fluently while dealing that much extra baggage required practice.
“I did a lot of mirror work before I went to the stage because I was trying to bring a presence to him,” he said. “I found that less was absolutely more…because the bulk actually said a lot.”
As for Algrim?
“Compared to Kruse, [Algrim] was a walk in the park,” he admitted.
With the help of prosthetics and a talented team, Akinnuoye-Agbaje certainly looked the parts. As for providing them personality, he was given the freedom to come up with something all his own, rather than try to mimic what was written in the pages of the comic book.
|Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," only in theaters November 8|
“I think what [not knowing the characters prior to filming] did was allow me not to have the preconceived notions, and come up with something that was a little more unique,” he said. “Obviously Marvel and the director [Alan Taylor] had preconceived notions…and it just allowed me to come with a different kind of energy from a different side.”
The relationships between Malekith and Algrim and Malekith and Kurse couldn’t be starker. After “complications” occur between the former, Akinnuoye-Agbaje would need to find ways to capture the extreme emotional spectrum both characters would experience.
“There’s a furiously loyal bond between [Malekith and Algrim] because they’ve been on the frontline together,” he said. “[Algrim] is somebody who would lay his life on the line for a cause, and he feels that Malekith heads that cause. So they’re tight.”
Akinnuoye-Agbaje added, “[With] Kurse…the rage becomes something else, but what I've tried to do instead of just making him this ogre, this powerful brute, is keep the Algrim within him.”
Get your tickets now for Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," only in theaters November 8, and for the latest on the Mighty Avenger's new big screen adventure keep your eyes on Marvel.com, like the official Thor Facebook page and follow @ThorMovies on Twitter!