Blanchett Talks Her Hela Role In “Thor”

We’ve had the first batch of photos along with some comments from the film’s director Taika Waititi earlier this week. Today, EW has posted up a lengthy interview with the villain of “Thor: Ragnarok,” the one and only Cate Blanchett.

Blanchett stars in the film as Hela, the first female antagonist in the MCU and the Goddess of Death – a description that Blanchett says she finds apt:

“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.”

She says she jumped at the chance to join the MCU and is still in a bit of shock that a female villain hadn’t been done before:

“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.”

The biggest draw for her was, without question, getting to work with New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi. From the sounds of it, he lived up to her expectations:

“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.”

She also spoke a bit about her character’s costume design along with some of the powers we’ll see on screen.

“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” is currently slated to hit cinemas in November.