Chris Hemsworth returns as the hammer-wielding hero of Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor battles many new challenges in this movie, losing his hammer and his long hair, along with having to survive a gladiatorial match against former Avenger the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
But through all these adversities, he must race against time to stop the destruction of his homeland and the annihilation of Asgardian civilization by a new, powerful and ruthless villain, Hela, portrayed by Cate Blanchett.
At the press conference for the movie, Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett and Mark Ruffalo talked about this new chapter in the Thor franchise, as directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi.
The movie is produced by Marvel Studios and Disney and opens on November 3rd 2017. For tickets check out Movie Tickets here.
Thor: Ragnarok - Poster Art: Chris Hemsworth
Thor: Ragnarok – Poster Art: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ©2017 Marvel Studios

Chris, what makes this Thor different from the others?

Chris Hemsworth: Taika Waititi, basically. I think we all had a vision, and an idea, and a want to do something vastly different than what we’d done before, and take it to a different place. And that meant doing away with what we knew, and just reinventing it.

It all came from his crazy, wonderful brain, and his inspiration. He pushed us every day on set, and constantly encouraged us to improvise, and explore, and take risks.

It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set, and a film that I feel the most proud of, just because of the collaboration, and fun we had.

Thor: Ragnarok - Poster Art: Mark Ruffalo
Thor: Ragnarok – Poster Art: Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) ©2017 Marvel Studios

Mark, this is the first time we’ve seen the Hulk this much. Are you interested in doing a Hulk movie?

Mark Ruffalo: I would love to do a Hulk movie. I think we all would love to do one. About a year ago, before I even had this part or they were talking about doing this, (producer) Kevin (Feige) had asked me to come over and have a script meeting.

Basically he sat me down and he said, ‘What would you like to do if you had a stand-alone Hulk movie?’ I said, ‘I’d like to do this, this, and this; and this and this – and then this. And then it would end like this.’ And he’s like, ‘I love that. Let’s do that over the next three movies, starting with Thor 3 and carry it on through Avengers 3 and Avengers 4.’ And so that’s my stand-alone Hulk movie.

Thor: Ragnarok - Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth
Thor: Ragnarok – Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ©2017 Marvel Studios, photo by Jasin Boland

All three of you are on the poster. How much healthy competition was there on set?

Cate: A lot.

Chris: Yeah. That’s why we don’t sit next to each other.

Cate: Yeah. Mark was always in the middle.

Mark: Yeah. And I’m sick of it.

Chris: I mean, we had the New Zealand/Australian competition –

Cate: Oh, yeah.

Chris: And we love one another. Truly.

Cate: Yeah.

Mark: I brought them together.

Thor: Ragnarok - Mark Ruffalo)
Thor: Ragnarok – Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) ©2017 Marvel Studios, photo by Jasin Boland

Cate, your character is absolutely amazing. You are one badass. How was it fighting with Chris?

Cate: I didn’t do enough of it; I kept wanting to do more.

Chris: You wanted to hit me.

Thor: Ragnarok - Poster Art: Cate Blanchett
Thor: Ragnarok – Poster Art: Hela (Cate Blanchett) ©2017 Marvel Studios

Cate: No. It was hugely enjoyable for me. And apart from working with these guys, obviously, the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit and to wear that much Lycra was really exciting for me.

I worked with Chris’ trainer for 20 minutes a day, which doesn’t sound like much, but my god, it was intense. And I was blessed every day with the fact that Zoe Bell, who is an extraordinary actress and director in her own right, was my stunt double.

When I started, I had to manifest these weapons and I had to throw them, and I could see Taika’s disappointment as I threw them. I said, (she grunts) ‘Ha.’ I had to stop making the noises, so I had to close my mouth.

Eventually, Zoe suggested that I put some sugar packets in my hand, which was deeply humiliating, so at least I could throw something and be real. Zoe helped me with little things like that. She was a great action director.

So I moved from the humiliating to exhilarating in a matter of five days.

Mark: I’m so glad you’re not the only person Taika looked at like that. He looked disappointed in me a lot. (he laughs)

Thor: Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth
Thor: Ragnarok – Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ©2017 Marvel Studios, photo by Jasin Boland

We see and hear a lot more dialogue from the Hulk in this movie than we ever have before. What was that like for you, Chris?

Chris: I loved it. I think, this is my favorite version of the Hulk, ‘cause we actually got to act together. We’d only really fought one another on screen in the previous films.

This time around, we got to improvise our way through it, and invent this chemistry that we hadn’t explored before. Build this new version of the Hulk, which was a little bit more articulate and vocal than he had been prior.

And there’s just so much more room for the humor and fun that the character then embodies. I think it’s fantastic.

Mark: I (do) too.

Did you miss at all not having your hammer as a prop?

Cate: Yeah, what do you do with your hands?

Thor: Ragnarok - Director Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth
Thor: Ragnarok – On set with Director Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) ©2017 Marvel Studios, photo by Jasin Boland

Chris: That’s right, where to put them?

It was good. It just helped shed anything too familiar. I feel like, holding the hammer, or even the wig in the previous costume, certainly just put me in a place, and set me on a path (from) what I already knew.

And I wanted it to be unfamiliar, and so everything from the hammer, to the costume, the hair forced me to move differently, and so that was a great thing.

I don’t really miss it, no. I’ve got one at home.

Thor: Ragnarok - Main Poster
Thor: Ragnarok – Main Poster ©2017 Marvel Studios

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.