‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Tessa Thompson Channels Stan Lee to Describe Why Christian Bale’s Gorr Is Such a Great Villain

Outside of Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, there might not be another actor more familiar with the Thor franchise than Tessa Thompson. She and Hemsworth have made several movies together, and she’s played the prominent role of Valkyrie in the past two Thor films, including Thor: Love and Thunder. The latest Marvel film in the franchise sees Thor and Valkyrie take on Christian Bale’s villain, Gorr. And Thompson channeled Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee to explain why Gorr’s trauma makes him such a great villain.

Tessa Thompson attends the 'Thor: Love and Thunder' world premiere, posing on the red carpet in a metallic gown.
Tessa Thompson attends the ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ world premiere. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Tessa Thompson joined the MCU in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Thompson joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe late, at least compared to her fellow Asgardians. Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Jaimie Alexander (Sif), and Idris Elba (Heimdall) played Thor’s running mates from the beginning. 

But coming on board for Ragnarok might have been for the best for Thompson. Fans and critics considered The Dark World the worst MCU movie for years. But the third Thor movie, with director Taika Waititi at the helm, got the franchise back on track.

Waititi, Hemsworth, and Thompson are back at it again in Love and Thunder, along with several Oscar-winners. Christian Bale is one of them as he plays the primary villain, Gorr the God Butcher. And Thompson channeled Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee when she described why Gorr is such a menacing villain.

Thompson describes why Christian Bale’s Gorr is such a great villain

Waititi convinced Natalie Portman to reprise her role as Jane Foster for Love and Thunder, and he also talked Bale into signing on. The last time we saw Bale in a superhero movie, he dined al fresco in Italy after saving Gotham from an atomic bomb as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises

This time, however, Bale plays the bad guy. Thompson described why the character is such a great villain and why Bale shines in the role. As she told Fandango All Access (via YouTube):

“You have this thing that Stan Lee talked about, right, which is that your trauma is the thing that makes you both a superhero and a villain. In the case of a villain, it’s unchecked. Your source of pain is what manifests into your villainry. 

“I think [Bale] captures that so well. And he was also just so surprising. He just would make choices that you’re like, ‘Oh.’ He was just so fun to watch, and such dexterity, and also what he did with his body, and he’s really in it in the way you would assume Christian is, but he also has a sense of humor about it.”

Thor: Love and Thunder actor Tessa Thompson on Gorr

What makes Gorr such a standout villain is he’s not that different from Thor. They have both experienced pain, heartbreak, and trauma. But where Thor channels his feelings into heroism, Gorr stands at the other end of the spectrum. 

Bale didn’t undergo any of his dramatic bodily transformations to play Gorr. He didn’t have time to get shredded for the role, but a smaller physical presence doesn’t diminish Gorr’s viciousness.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ has 2 post-credits scenes and several Hemsworths in the movie

Thor: Love and Thunder received a PG-13 rating and runs nearly two hours, per IMDb. It follows in the Marvel tradition with post-credits scenes — two of them. 

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Natalie Portman Reveals How ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Is Different From Any Movie She’s Starred In

No spoilers here, but both post-credit scenes involve surprise cameos. One has a Thor regular make an appearance, and the other has Ted Lasso fans excited.

Love and Thunder is also something of a Hemsworth fest. In addition to Chris Hemsworth, the movie features his brother Luke in an uncredited role as Actor Thor. Additionally, one of Chris’ twin sons, Tristan, plays Kid Thor while other son Sasha is an Asgardian Kid. And his daughter, India, plays the titular Love. Plus, his wife, Elsa Pataky, even appears as Wolf Woman.

Thor: Love and Thunder is now in theaters. 

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