Yesterday we got a hot new Thor trailer (that I’m still salivating over), today, director Kenneth Branagh talks about working on this highly anticipated film.
Branagh spoke exclusively with Entertainment Weekly about the tone of the film and why humor was so important. “We always felt there was a very strong mine of material in the fish-out-of-water. When you reduce a man who is arrogant by temperament, extremely oppressive and used to having his own way, dressed, um … unusually, you are immediately in a position where you have comic friction,” he said. “This is a guy who continues to live his own reality. In his mind, he’s still prince of the cosmos and he’ll do what he wants. People from Earth getting in his way and asking silly questions is immaterial.”
As to the role females play in mythology and in turn, Thor, Branagh said, “We’re very blessed with talented and beautiful women. We have Kat Dennings, as [Natalie Portman’s] partner in crime, we have Jamie Alexander as [the warrior goddess] Sif, Renne Russo as Thor’s mum.” He continued, “[Thor] is a man who has a Viking, atavistic sense of entitlement. In another life, he’d be suggesting everyone — particularly women — do exactly what he says. When you cast someone like Natalie Portman, the character can’t just be the love interest. She is already an interesting dynamic character in her own right. It helps to have that conflict and interplay.”
Branagh also said that Hemsworth’s brief role as Kirk’s father in J.J. Abrams Star Trek certainly helped in him being chosen to play Thor. “He’s immense, magnificent and massive as a physical being, but there’s a lot going on in those eyes, and a lot conveyed in the atmosphere of the man,” he said.
Branagh expressed that the culture clash aspect of the film is something he thinks audiences will enjoy. “Even in the case of a god, audiences — paradoxically — enjoy recognizing the human traits. In Thor’s case, we are thrilled by his powers, but I think we relate to his emotions. There are some flaws, some foibles, sibling rivalries at work, and romantic entanglements,” he said. “The way into making a god attractive is to find out where his experience connects to a human one.”
The director, who is a skilled actor in his own right, mentioned he might have some sort of cameo in the film but not a visual one.