For the non-Marvel fans among us, here is a quick breakdown on Natalie Portman’s role in the superhero franchise. She first debuted in Thor as Chris Hemsworth’s love interest, Jane Foster, (arguably one of the best looking on-screen couples of all time). Since then, Natalie has been promoted to the lead role in the fourth offset of the franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder. As any Marvel fan will tell you, this is a very big deal.
Natalie’s physical transformation…
Though it sounds all glitz and glamour, Natalie’s transformation from an astrophysicist into a hammer-wielding, thunder god didn’t come without its physical sacrifices. “On Black Swan, I was asked to get as small as possible,” she told Variety, speaking of the role that nabbed her an Oscar. “For Thor, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge and also a state of mind as a woman.”
At only 5’3″ and naturally petite in stature, this physical change was something entirely out of Natalie’s comfort zone. “When you’re small, and also, I think, because I started as a kid, a lot of times I feel young or little or, like, a pat on the head kind of person. And I present myself that way too, because of that,” she reflected. “To have this reaction and be seen as ‘big’, you realise, ‘oh, this must be so different to walk through the world like this.”
A little powerful, perhaps?
Natalie’s process to ‘bulking up’ required a rigorous ten months spent working with a trainer before shooting commenced. Though she successfully gained muscle, there was one physical requirement which no amount of training could change: Natalie’s height. The script, which allegedly called for Natalie to be standing eye-to-eye with Chris Hemsworth on screen (who by the way is 6’3″), resulted in the installation of a few height-boosting ramps on set. “We’d rehearse the scene and then they’d build a path that was like one foot off the ground or whatever, and I would just walk on that,” Natalie recalled.
Doing it for the kids…
Though every actor wants to add “Marvel superhero” to their resume, Natalie’s motivation was a little more personal. “I feel like it’s the phase of my career where I’m really trying to just impress my kids,” she said. “My five-year-old and my 10-year-old were so enthralled by this process, getting to visit the set and see me dressed up in a cape. It made it really cool. You know, it’s very rare that my kids are like, ‘Please go to work!’ Usually, it’s quite the opposite.” Um, cute.
Main image credit: Getty
Are you excited to see more of Natalie’s transformation?