By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount Pictures
Natalie Portman has been in fan movies before. Star Wars was the ultimate and also V for Vendetta had a comic book fan base. Thor has another massive audience with the decades of Marvel history.
Natalie Portman Interested in Thor
“One of the interesting things about the comic books is that they were written over several decades with several different writers and artists so there’s very different stories, very different tones, very different artwork, very different places the characters go and depictions of the characters,” Portman said at Comic Con. “The challenge, more for the writers than for us even, but for the writers and for Ken as the director, is finding one tone, choosing which of the stories to tell because obviously all of these are sagas that have gone on for decades and whether to include certain characters or add others, which details to keep and which details to spare.”
Despite its massive production, Thor had some low rent techniques in early stages. “We had rehearsal where they used chairs. Very high tech rehearsal for a jillion dollar budget but they used chairs to build different spaces, like these kinds of chairs in an empty room. Then we would have to do the scenes and act around the chairs as if they were like buildings or cars. We had to sit in a car and pretend we were driving.”
Portman plays Jane Foster, an earth woman who Thor meets when he’s banished from Asgard. “That is part of her role in the movie, it sort of grounds him. He’s exiled to earth to learn humility. I think her earthiness is part of hopefully what transforms him. There are definitely changes in the character from the comic books but that is certainly one of the things that has stayed. She has some family things that echo Thor’s familial situation so that there’s that sort of bond between them. Obviously they have a common quest because he’s trying to get back home and her whole interest of study is these connections between dimensions.”
In her scenes, Thor actually wasn’t like the other big budget movies Portman has done. “It was actually a very different experience than those because we were on earth, our section of the film was on earth, there’s very little blue screen work that we did. Also, Ken is such an incredible actor and director for actors that it was a very different experience too, just having someone give such attention to character and performance on a movie of this scale.”