We talk to Thor himself, actor Chris Hemsworth, to find out just what makes Avengers: Age of Ultron one of the biggest and best Marvel movies yet…
What’s new about your characters in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron? In Age of Ultron, we see a more grounded, earthly version of Thor than we have in the past. It is nice because there are a few more opportunities to showcase some humor and see him in some casual gear instead of the red cape and armor.
How does it feel to portray a different version of the character compared to the Thor we’ve seen in previous movies? I wanted to get back to the fun he had in the first film. I wanted to make him a little more grounded. I wanted to humanize him a bit. It’s very easy for these characters to become un-relatable and exist off in the stratosphere – but this was about making him more human. You can see this in one of the first scenes where the rest of The Avengers are trying to pick up his hammer in casual clothes. You think, ‘What do these guys do when they’re not saving the world?’ Well, now you know. That was fun for me. Any time we got to do things like that and to play around, that was the best part for me.
What’s Thor’s role in The Avengers in the new movie? He’s a central part of the team now and there’s certainly a unity that they’ve all formed now as a group. They are solid. Thor sees the bigger picture of the current conflict that’s going on. There’s the initial battle, which they’re all involved in, but Thor uses his Asgardian knowledge and starts to tap into some otherworldly possibilities and threats that he thinks are coming.
What was it like to welcome new cast members to the superhero cast? Joking aside, they were awesome. It was cool to have new people on set. You almost get too comfortable when you know everyone’s rhythms – but then a few new people are thrown in the mix and it gets disrupted in the best way. That’s why I think people love this film even more so than the first one. I love the new additions.
Ultron [played by James Spader] is another new character introduced in Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. How would you describe the character? The character of Ultron was one of the first times on any film where I had really no idea what that character was going to look like and how that performance was going to be played out. But the first time I saw James [Spader] perform in character, it just all made sense. The writing is all very tricky in terms of his speech cadences and rhythms. He also has sarcasm and irony to him, yet is highly intelligent. It’s a beautiful mix.
What was it like to have James Spader on the set? I remember the first time he came on set, too. He did this big monologue and when he was done we all applauded and forgot our lines because we were so captivated by what he was doing.
How would you describe the look of Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron? We’ve gone to far more locations than we’ve ever been to before and we’ve covered more ground than ever before, so aesthetically it’s going to be a mash-up of a whole lot of different locations and styles and images. Everything has been dialed up. Even the complexity of the story has gone deeper. We’ve seen all these characters evolve in the individual films, but to see them come together a second time is pretty exciting.
The start of the movie sees the superheroes working together in The Avengers Tower. What was the set like for those scenes? The Avengers Tower was an incredible set. In fact, it was one of the most impressive sets I’ve ever been on. It’s Tony Stark’s house, so it had to be big, high-tech and flashy – and it was. It was also the first set that the entire group shot on together, so it was nice to be in that kind of setting to shoot the party scene there and all of us be together and catch up.
Who were your favorite superheroes when you were growing up? Superman was probably the only film like that I had seen when I was growing up. It’s the one that sticks out for me. Iron Man hadn’t been created yet, or Captain America, or Hulk, or Black Widow, or Vision.