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Cate Blanchett Breaks Down Her Role as Hela in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios

In November, Cate Blanchett will usher in the first major female villain (excluding Nebula) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Ragnarok. A fresh batch of images from the film were released this week that you can see at the bottom of this post. Blanchett will play the part of Hela the Goddess of Death in the film.

In an interview with EW, Blanchett says that Hela has very specific motivations:

“She arrives with a lot of baggage. She’s a little bit cross … She’s been locked away for millennia, getting more and more cross, and then, with a mistake, she get unleashed and she ain’t getting back in that box.”

Blanchett says that being the first female villain int he MCU has her excited for the role, although she is shocked that there wasn’t other before her:

“Well let’s face it: as a woman, these opportunities have not in the past come up very frequently and I think there’s a revolution happening from within Marvel. I’ve seen so many of the Marvel franchises, particularly being the mother of four. They tend to be the only type of film particularly having young boys.

Can you believe it? Can you believe we’re having this conversation and it’s 2017 and we’re talking about the first female villain? It’s ridiculous. There’s so much untapped potential villainy in women. It’s really exciting. I think finally it’s beginning to be acknowledged that women and men want to see a diverse array of characters, and that’s race, gender across the sexual spectrum.”

Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel
Image: Marvel

Blanchett says that the main reason she took the role of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok was the film’s director Taika Waititi:

“For me as an actor, this is separate, is my desire to work with [director] Taika Waititi … Well I had seen his vampire movie [What We Do in the Shadows] and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I was trying to get my head around the collision of his sensibility as a director and what had previously existed in the Thor franchise and I thought that’s going to be interesting to say the least and I thought it could produce an interesting combustible connection because tonally his work is so different from what previously existed. Obviously they wanted to do something fresh and different, which is always exciting.

He’s sort of part sumo wrestler, part showgirl, part father you always wanted to have. He’s so nimble. I keep saying the word irreverent. He takes the work seriously but he doesn’t take himself seriously. So there’s music on set the whole time. There was hilarity but he knew every single time when to focus.”

Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

She says that her costume design in Thor: Ragnarok is unique, due to the villainess’ ability to manifest weapons, and her mask:

“You gotta know the history of the character. And there are so many iterations of the origin story. For any of these characters, there’s never one origin story. But yes, it was really interesting to go back. Most of the time she was masked. So that’s what I really talked to the Marvel team and Taika about was when we would choose to have her masked and when she wouldn’t be masked … She’s able to manifest weapons. Her headdress can be weapons. She can manifest weapons out of different parts of her body. I won’t tell you which – I’ll leave that hanging.

Asgard is so good. I mean one only need to have a mildly unpleasant thought and you’re considered evil. Everyone is too perfect. Why not mess it all up? It’s easy to play bad but, like when I was in Cinderella, like what makes the stepmother evil is interesting. So, it was trying to in the screen time I had to tease that stuff and to give her a journey really. So hopefully we’re given her a journey, like how you understand why Loki is as screwed up as he is.”

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters on November 3.

Brad Repka

I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!

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