Thor: Love And Thunder star Natalie Portman shares what’s changed since she was last in the MCU, and how Chris Hemsworth has stayed the same.
Thor: Love And Thunder is ready to take the MCU by storm when it arrives in theaters on July 8. Reviews have already poured in saying the first solo outing since 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok is full of heart and humor, which is in large part due to the always fruitful teamwork between star Chris Hemsworth and acclaimed filmmaker Taika Waititi. But credit must also be given to the grand return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, whose major role in the new film provides a lot of the story’s momentum.
Jane Foster hasn’t been seen in the present since Thor: The Dark World, nearly a decade ago. After breaking up with him offscreen, she was only casually glimpsed in an instance of time travel during Avengers: Endgame. But now, Portman is back for real and brought a good friend with her: Thor’s trusty hammer Mjolnir, who now responds to Jane’s touch instead of Thor’s. Speaking of friends, King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) has taken quite the liking to Jane as well, leaving one to wonder if Thor will be the only one left out of the circle of love.
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Related: Thor’s Complete MCU Timeline Explained
Screen Rant spoke to Portman about wielding the hammer after being out of the MCU for so long, what’s changed about the filmmaking process under Kevin Feige’s guidance, and how grounded costar Chris Hemsworth has remained throughout.
Screen Rant: Welcome back to the MCU. Being in Hall H at Comic Con when you walked out on that stage wielding that hammer was a top one Comic Con moment for me.
Natalie Portman: Wow, thank you. That means so much to me.
What was going through your head in that moment, just knowing you were coming back? You knew everything; we didn’t.
Natalie Portman: I was terrified. I mean, it’s so wild. You walk into the backstage area of the MCU now, and it’s like the Oscars. You’ve got the most talented filmmakers in the world; the most talented actors in the world, and it’s such a privilege to get to be among them.
I think you see Marvel really treats creative collaborators with so much respect, and encourages and fosters all of this – yes, fosters – creativity that really allows people to do their [best]. Taika brought his entire imagination and self to these movies, and they benefit so much from that. I think they really understand how much the creative people bring to it.
It feels like something very special to be part of when you’re in that room, and you’re like, “Oh my God, all of these people I respect so much in this room are part of this thing. And how lucky am I to be here among them?”
I remember there was a headline: “Marvel casts unknown actor to play Thor.” And now Thor is one of the most beloved characters, and this Jane Foster story is amazing. Looking back at the dichotomy between how the MCU has evolved since the last time you were here – what is that like?
Natalie Portman: It’s really wild, because I guess when we started, it was one of the first MCU movies. Iron Man, I think, had just come out and we were shortly thereafter. It felt big, but we didn’t quite know how expansive, and I think it’s really a testament to what Kevin Feige and his entire team have done with the Marvel Universe.
And then to see Chris? He came with so much talent and confidence and presence, even before he was as known as he is today. He was so incredible immediately, and then just to see 10 years later that he’s had so much success and so much popularity, and he’s still such a genuinely kind, amazing, hardworking, and obviously incredibly talented person – it’s really a beautiful thing to experience.
That’s so good to hear. I think there’s a really awesome parallel going on right now, with you returning to the Thor franchise at the same time that Hayden Christensen and Ewan [McGregor] are returning to the Star Wars franchise. I’m curious if you’ve seen Hayden back in Obi-Wan, or any of them.
Natalie Portman: I haven’t yet. I’ve heard it’s wonderful. I’ve been working like crazy and haven’t gotten to see it yet.
What is Natalie Portman’s catchphrase?
Natalie Portman: [Laughs] Yeah, I need to workshop it.
Thor: Love And Thunder Synopsis
Thor embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who — to his surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer. Together, they set out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance.
Check out our other interview with Thor: Love And Thunder’s dynamic duo Chris Hemsworth & Taika Waititi and King of New Asgard Tessa Thompson, as well as previous interview with Natalie Portman for Annihilation.
More: 10 Comics That Could Influence Thor Love And Thunder
Thor: Love And Thunder arrives in theaters on July 8.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
Everything About Thor: Love And Thunder Is More Exciting Than Thor Himself
About The Author
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Ash Crossan is a Lead Content Producer & Host for Screen Rant. With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, Ash joined Screen Rant in 2021 as a lead interviewer. Based in Los Angeles, Ash is a fan of all things Star Wars, Marvel, DC, 90s Nickelodeon and rom-coms. Follow Ash on Twitter: @AshCrossan.
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