Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson says she and director Taika Waititi worked together to turn Valkyrie into the MCU's Han Solo. Each new director who enters the Marvel Studios system ends up putting their own stamp on the film they direct. Occasionally, however, an auteur will come aboard the MCU and help make something truly unique—often with the help of the cast. This technique kicked off the MCU as a whole when Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. helped to establish Tony Stark and the general tone of a Marvel film. Thor: Ragnarok, however, will take things to another level.
With Waititi's eccentric sensibilities well established before he boarded Thor: Ragnarok, the promise of something wonderfully different was already in place. The Thor franchise has never been known for breaking new ground, but critics have been praising Thor: Ragnarok for its colorful aesthetic and inventive humor. All told, it could end up eclipsing even the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise for sheer absurdism. But all that idiosyncratic filmmaking would be nothing without a cast willing to create alongside the director.
The Independent spoke with Tessa Thompson recently about working with Waititi and how his approach to making movies translated to Thor: Ragnarok.
"They really let his personality shine through and really, he is all over it, because he was such a part of the integral process of us ad-libing, and would throw alternates out. He’s just so funny that he enthused the script with him.”
We've heard for awhile now that the cast of Thor: Ragnarok was encounraged to improvise and bring themselves more into their role. This is most obvious with Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster, which shares many of the actor's singular traits. Thor, however, is said to be more like Chris Hemsworth than any other iteration of the character. For new hero Valkyrie, this process involved Thompson and Waititi designing the MCU version of the character together.
"It was quite collaborative but [Taika] and I got on from the minute we met each other. He pitched Valkyrie as sort of the Han Solo over the movie and so I sort of knew the space that she wanted to occupy, and we wanted to subvert any sort of cliches in our portrayal of her. I say ‘ours' because he was really integral to that.”
Early reviews have made it clear that Thompson's Valkyrie stands out as a highlight in the film thanks to her strong character. Waititi and Thompson both are no strangers to inverting cliches and being inventive with their character work, and the pairing of the director and actor seems to have paid off. Valkyrie's loner status could also allow her to pop up in future cosmic Marvel films, but first she'll be making her winning debut in Thor: Ragnarok.
Source: The Independent