Natalie Portman Says She Enjoyed Bulking Up for Thor: Love and Thunder

Natalie Portman has never been asked to gain weight for a role, so the actress was ready for the challenge when she was given the part of The Mighty Thor in Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Her character, otherwise known as Jane Foster, was one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, the world’s foremost astronomer, and the creator of the Foster Theory.

Foster was the initial person to find the God of Thunder when he fell to Earth from Asgard in the 2011 film Thor. She helped him to return to his home realm, falling in love with him during their journey. Although Portman has been out of the MCU for nearly a decade, she returned to the role for the fourth installment in the Thor franchise.

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In an interview with The Times, Natalie Portman shared her thoughts surrounding the need to bulk up for her expanded role, saying it was “wonderful” to “get bigger” for her part. She enjoyed the “unusual” challenge, as actresses are typically asked to lose weight for a role.

“It’s pretty unusual and wonderful to be tasked with getting bigger as a woman. Most of the body transformations we’re asked to make are to be as small as possible and there’s an emotional and sociological correlate to that.”

The actress was particularly excited about filming Thor: Love and Thunder over her 40th birthday, a significant milestone.

“For someone to say, ‘Let’s see how much strength you can have. I turned 40 while making the movie and it was an incredible point in my life to say, ‘You’re going to be the fittest, strongest version of yourself.”

It appears as though Portman was excited about the direction her character took in the latest Thor film, and it was great to see her long-awaited return to the MCU.

CGI Was a Must with Natalie Portman’s Mighty Thor

Marvel Studios

Portman’s enormous arms weren’t the only things that grew to make her character similar to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. The actress need to appear 10 inches taller to have a relative height to her co-star. But, of course, the easiest way to achieve such a growth spurt was through CGI (computer-generated imagery) and a few framing tricks to boost her height.

“It’s the joy of CG movies that someone can conceive of making a tiny little woman into a huge character,” Portman told Sunday Times Style magazine. In addition to the computer effects on her height, the actress spoke with Variety about constructing paths that would make her look taller in the scene.

“We’d rehearse the scene, they’d see the path, and then they’d build a path that was like one foot off the ground or whatever, and I would just walk on that.”

Whatever the case, Portman certainly looked taller, whether it was Marvel’s VFX team or a practical set being used. The Mighty Thor was a far departure from her prior role as Doctor Jane Foster, and it seems like the actress loved her powerful new role.