‘Loki’: Who Is Ravonna Renslayer? Gugu Mbatha-Raw Hints at an ‘Origin Story’ for Her Character
Loki follows the eponymous God of Mischief Marvel fans have come to know and love. But it also introduces a host of new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Featured in Loki is Ravonna Renslayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Learn more about the character and the actor here.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Judge Ravonna Renslayer in ‘Loki’
Judge Ravonna Renslayer meets Loki in episode 1 when he arrives at the TVA. She plans to sentence him to death for disrupting the sacred timeline. But Owen Wilson’s Mobius convinces her to let him use Loki to catch the dangerous variant they’re after — himself. Renslayer agrees but pushes back at every turn.
Mbatha-Raw deems her character “powerful in her own right” when speaking to Elle, adding that she likes that “there’s a complexity to her.” “She’s not a love interest, she’s not a damsel in distress, she’s worked her way up.” The actor can relate. “I’ve worked my way up in a different way in the industry.”
She suggested ‘Loki’ could be an ‘origin story’ for Renslayer
Marvel fans already know where Loki came from and where he’ll end up (at least, as far as the sacred timeline goes). Though the series may show how he gets there, it’s also introducing new elements to the MCU, especially as far as the TVA goes and how it could fit into future projects.
This applies to all of the characters introduced in Loki. Ravonna Renslayer is an essential part of the TVA. So Elle’s note that “Mbatha-Raw suggested the series as an ‘origin story’ for Renslayer” could prove true. However, given the intense secrecy in the MCU, fans shouldn’t expect confirmation on this.
How Mbatha-Raw used her dance experience in ‘Loki’
Growing up in England, Mbatha-Raw studied theater and dance. She used this background in her role as Renslayer — specifically the fight scenes. The actor called stunt training “a joy” because of this, noting how her character’s fighting style reflects her position at the TVA.
“I love the physicality of fight choreography, and it was nice to get to figure out how Renslayer would move considering she’s now in a suit,” said Mbatha-Raw. “She’s not a scrappy fighter; she’s a very precise, elegant, lethal fighter, but she doesn’t waste her energy.”
What other projects is Gugu Mbatha-Raw known for?
Fans of the popular British sci-fi series may recognize Mbatha-Raw as Tish Jones in Doctor Who. She starred in the short-lived J.J. Abrams series Undercovers and Touch Season 1. Many remember her for her roles in the Netflix anthology series Easy and Black Mirror. The actor also stars in The Morning Show as Hannah Shoenfeld.
Though much of her work is on TV, Mbatha-Raw has also made her mark in film. She had a role in Jupiter Ascending and worked with Will Smith in Concussion. She’s had a foot in many genres, appearing in the 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake one year and the sci-fi horror film The Cloverfield Paradox the next.