The hard-fighting Asgardian!
American actress Tessa Thompson made her presence felt in the tinsel town with her breakthrough role in Mississippi Damned She then appeared in films...
American actress Tessa Thompson made her presence felt in the tinsel town with her breakthrough role in ‘Mississippi Damned’. She then appeared in films like ‘For Colored Girls’, ‘Selma’ and ‘Creed’. Tessa played the iconic character Valkyrie, a formidable warrior in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, joins the league of Marvel’s female superhero list! ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ will air for the first time on TV today at 9 pm on Star Movies.
Excerpts from an interview
Marvel Cinematic Universe, the storylines, your character, how fun was it all?
It was fun, there were so many challenges, so many things that were new for me like working with green screen and the kind of imagination that that takes all the physicality and then getting to work with all these seasoned actors. To work with Cate Blanchett, to get to see someone like Chris take on a character he has been playing for such a long time and him with this new energy and that can be scary.
Because if you play a character one-way for a while and then you want to shake things up, it’s just exciting. I was such a fan of Taika’s work before making this film which is a big reason why I wanted to do, and we did so much improvisation. I really love in my work to just do things that scare me, I find that exciting and so there were definitely parts of these where I kept thinking about what I am doing but it’s fun place to come to work every day and feel like I am going to break new ground and that is a gift.
Will we see a longevity in your character?
I don’t know, we will see. That is the exciting thing about with Marvel and particularly this new phase of the universe. I don’t know where it’s going, and all these characters are starting to intersect and that is so exciting as there is such an incredible collection of new folks coming in. I love playing this character and I would play her in any context. I’ll just show up to eat a sandwich if they need to in a movie because I have so much fun playing her.
How did you prepare for this role?
I think just really working on the physicality and feeling sort of confident and strong when holding a sword and getting stronger myself by doing pull-ups and really spending time on Stage 3 with the stunt crew and once you begin moving through space doing some of that fight stuff you begin to kind of inhabit the space of the character and then, of course, so much of the universe is created just for you with the costumes and what’s happening around you so you’re not doing it on your own.
Playing a female Marvel superhero, what does it feel like?
It feels tremendous. I think it important that boys look at female characters and think that it’s something they aspire to be. That is really important. I have the added benefit of being able to present a character that isn’t necessarily historically represented this way. There is a host of young women that look like me and their mothers look like me and their mothers write to me and say that they are happy that her little girls get to see someone who looks like her on screen. I certainly never thought that I would be in a film like this playing a superhero and some of it has to do with the fact that I did not grow up watching a superhero that looks like me so that is a joy
What does it mean to be playing a character like Valkyrie in light of the recent issues rising in America?
I think America’s problems are woven into the fabric. I think privilege is something they have always known, and it is really hard to strike with a new world order when you take power for granted. I think we are in an exciting time, for me in media we don’t only reflect the culture in which we live, we have the power and the ability to change it. There have been so many young women who have come up to me and said that my Valkyrie means so much to them because for the first time they can really look at a character from a comic book movie and see a reflection of themselves and I think you have to be able to see things in order to be able to be them and I never grew up I can be a superhero and that’s maybe because I didn’t see a lot of that. I choose to focus on all the positive change because that fortifies me to be able to continue to work towards the change that we need and that’s vast and great.
- Sourced exclusively for The Hans India