If an actor signs on to star in a superhero movie, they need to get in serious shape to embody the role. Natalie Portman (Jackie) goes from Jane Foster to Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. So, she got strong enough to get in shape to rival her heavily muscled co-star Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame).
In a profile done by Vanity Fair, Natalie Portman spoke about the process of doing one of these physically straining blockbusters. It was her first time doing heavy weight training, but with her trainer Naomi Pendergast, the actress was able to pull through the process. It was four months of prep work, but she had to maintain throughout filming.
“We did a lot of weight training and a lot of protein shakes—heavyweight training that I haven’t ever done before. Of course, I’ve never really aimed to get bulky. It was very physical, so it was a lot of both agility work and also strength work.”— Natalie Portman
Bulking up was not the goal for Natalie Portman. Instead, she aimed for a balance of agility and strength, which is certainly needed for the action that is plentiful in Marvel movies.
Doing these intense workouts changes your body. For Natalie Portman, it made a huge difference in how she felt and how she moved. The Oscar winner said that not only did it change the way she walked, but there was a mental aspect to getting in shape. To get into the mindset of a character who gains god-like powers, doing strength training is a great way to get to that mentality.
“It definitely helps you get into character, and it’s definitely changed the way I move. You walk differently; you feel different. I mean, it’s so wild to feel strong for the first time in my life.”— Natalie Portman
Her work seems to have paid off. Earlier this year these photos leaked of her looking totally jacked…
VF’s profile of Natalie Portman was more than just workouts and becoming a superhero. She spoke about her time in Australia as she is there to film the fourth Thor installment, books she has been reading, and Britney Spears.
Natalie Portman is not the only one who has radically transformed herself for a superhero role. Chris Pratt (The Tomorrow War) was not the musclebound Guardian of the galaxy that he is today during his stint on Parks and Recreation. Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) went from his skinny self to bulking up for Eternals, making him rival the buffest of Avengers like Chris Evans (Defending Jacob) and Hemsworth.
Other women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have shown intense workouts, not just Natalie Portman. Most notably, Brie Larson (Avengers: Endgame) went viral a few years ago as she prepped for Captain Marvel. One of the most known exercises involved her pushing a 5,000-pound jeep. Now, she is making the rounds again on social media as she preps for next year’s The Marvels, the team-up spectacle that is acting as the sequel to her 2019 standalone debut in the franchise.
Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) is returning to direct Thor: Love and Thunder after his major hit with Ragnarok. He will be writing with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Unpregnant). The cast is stacked with small appearances from Chris Pratt and Karen Gillan (Gunpowder Milkshake). Leading the charge will be Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson (Westworld), Christian Bale (Vice), Jaimie Alexander (Blindspot), and Russell Crowe (The Nice Guys). Cameos confirmed will include Melissa McCarthy (Nine Perfect Strangers), Matt Damon (Stillwater), Sam Neill (Peter Rabit 2: The Runaway), and Luke Hemsworth (Westworld).
You can see Natalie Portman wield Mjolnir in Thor: Love and Thunder on May 6, 2022.