Cate Blanchett says she didn’t feel any pressure playing Hela – the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female supervillain – in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. The upcoming third and final installment in Thor’s solo trilogy is one of the last remaining films to release before the Earth’s mightiest heroes have to unite with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle Thanos and his Black Order in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War next year. However, Thor has some personal issues to take care of before all that happens.
As seen in Thor: Ragnarok‘s trailers so far, Thor loses his trusty hammer, Mjolnir, early on in the film and is then sent to Sakaar to battle his fellow co-worker, Hulk, in a gladiatorial arena, before eventually joining forces to bring down Hela, the Goddess of Death. In fact, the scene in which Thor loses his hammer is the reason Blanchett boarded the project in the first place. So, climbing onboard one of the world’s biggest movie franchises at this stage, while also playing the shared universe’s first female supervillain, would presumably come with its fair share of pressures – but not for Blanchett.
We spoke to Blanchett about her character during last year’s set visit, and she made it clear she didn’t feel any pressure playing the MCU’s first female supervillain.
“I think you only feel pressure if you think this is the only shot that women will have, which is ridiculous. I mean, there’s a huge female fan base and having a daughter myself, you know, you want them to be able to identify with the bad-ass end of the spectrum as well as the heroes…so I didn’t feel pressure, I was super excited.”
Considering Blanchett’s background and award-winning history, it’s understandable that she wouldn’t feel the pressure playing a comic book character. After all, this isn’t her first go-around with the science fiction/fantasy genre. She’s previously played Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, as well as the villain Col. Dr. Irina Spalko in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Of course, she believes (and hopes) that her playing the cinematic universe’s first female supervillain will spawn more female supervillains in future comic book movies. What’s more, the cast and crew all claim that she’s the universe’s best supervillain overall – and that’s high praise considering how many top-tier actors, such as Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming), have played bad guys in the MCU so far. Hopefully Blanchett’s portrayal of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok is convincing enough for Marvel Studios to incorporate more female supervillains down the line.
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