How Marvel Made Natalie Portman Taller for Thor: Love and Thunder

Jane Foster looks mighty different in Thor: Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman trained for more than ten months to get into superhero shape to reprise her role as Jane for the first time since 2013’s Thor: The Dark Worldbut with one large difference: she’s wielding the might of ex-boyfriend Thor (Chris Hemsworth). As the hammer-swinging heroine worthy of lifting the enchanted Mjolnir, the five-foot-three Portman becomes the six-foot-tall Mighty Thor — the new goddess of thunder. In an interview with Total Film ahead of Thor: Love and Thunderin theaters July 8, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige revealed Marvel’s small role in Portman’s big change:

“The only thing we assisted with was making the Mighty Thor a little bit taller,” Feige said. “That was the only movie magic we used. Everything else was all her.”

As Portman explained, “I trained for a long time before and during, and I was doing the whole protein shakes [thing]. It really helped prepare me for the level of action that we ended up doing.”

She added: “We had incredible stunt doubles who did the really hard stuff, but there’s still a great deal of running and jumping and swords and hammer-fighting. It was definitely helpful to be strong. To have that weight of the cape all day, you want to have some upper-body strength.”

In an interview with VarietyPortman noted she was “asked to get as big as possible,” her muscular physique matching that of her comic book counterpart. Now standing eye-to-eye with Hemsworth’s Thor, accommodations had to be made for this bigger, mightier Jane.

“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,” Portman explained. Recalling her experience performing with a deck in the Australia-shot Love and ThunderPortman laughed, “They would call it a deck, but depending on the accent, sometimes it sounded like something else. Because we’re all children.”

In Thor: Love and ThunderThor embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and ex-girlfriend Jane Fosterwho — to his surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer. Together, they set out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe as Zeus, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, and Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder opens only in theaters July 8.

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