Marvel Fans Say This Esteemed Actor Blew It in the MCU

Robert Downey Jr. received Oscar buzz for his heartwrenching denoument in Endgame, while Chris Evans has been hailed as the perfect Captain America since the character’s on-screen incarnation, for Evans embodies his unwavering moral compass and righteous fortitude with a sense of ease. Scarlett Johansson excels as Black Widow on an epic arc from self-serving spy to familial sacrificer, and the list goes on and on. However, not all actors have delivered equally impressive performances in the MCU. 

Marvel Studios MCU
Marvel Studios | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Avengers: Infinity War

Though the cinematic universe has managed to recruit some top-tier talent for the franchise, some of them have been criticized for “phoning in” their performances, seeming disinterested while on the job, and/or just lacking in believability. 

Various names often come up in discussions concerning the matter; Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, specifically in later Thor installments all face quite a deal of backlash. However, one actor, in particular, seems to face the most criticism: Natalie Portman as Jane Foster.

MCU fans say Natalie Portman could have done a better job as Jane Foster (especially in ‘Thor: The Dark World’)

Natalie Portman will have a lot to prove come Thor: Love and Thunder, as her previous performances within the franchise left much to be desired. Now that the actress is set to become Mighty Thor, she’s likely more satisfied with her future in the franchise, yet new success will not rid of old disappointments. 

When reading through discussions concerning the worst MCU casting or the worst performance in the MCU, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster received a great deal of recognition. Considering Portman is an Academy Award, two-time Golden Globe, and BAFTA award-winner, it goes without saying that the girl can act. MCU fans simply argue that she dropped the ball when it came to Jane Foster. One MCU enthusiast, when discussing the worst performances, stated:

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. The way the character is written is bad, but Portman doesn’t even try to give even a little substance to the character. She just completely phones it in. I mean, look at Jane’s reaction to Frigga’s death. It was literally just a blank stare.

Reddit User

Other MCU enthusiasts, when discussing the worst MCU actor, stated:

Natalie Portman without a doubt. I don’t believe in her character at all.

Reddit User

I have to go with Natalie Portman as well. Honestly, in concept I think Jane Foster was a reasonably fine character in Thor 1 (no more or less bad than any other character in that movie), but Portman really just phones it in.

Reddit User

While Natalie Portman faced a great deal of backlash for her performance, many note that she wasn’t given much to work with, as Foster’s script was quite mediocre.

Should fans blame the script instead? 

In all fairness, it goes without saying that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster was relegated to second fiddle in the franchise, especially come the sequel. Her character became nothing more than a romantic interest without a unique plotline all her own. One MCU fan stated:

Natalie Portman. Sh*t script that relegated her to being a Twilight romance character. The fact so many people here celebrated her not being in Ragnorok tells you what the consensus was towards her…

Reddit User

Natalie Portman likely lost interest in her character because she became a trope: she became the biggest cliche, and one of the most problematic roles, still existing in the superhero realm. Whether this excuses her lackadaisical performance is for you to decide; however, it goes without saying that her character will have a story deserving of Portman’s effort come Love and Thunder.