Breaking traditional Marvel comic origins, Tessa Thompson storms into MCU to portray the fierce and equally powerful "sort of warrior ex-pat" Valkyrie.
Observant fans may notice that the actress has taken on equally amazing (if not instantly noticeable) roles - as the charmingly magnetic Charlotte Hale in Westworld, and the unapologetically outspoken Samantha White in Dear White People. Adding yet another dazzling role under her belt as Valkyrie, Tessa Thompson joins the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In this exclusive interview with Marie Claire, Tessa speaks about the star-studded cast and what it's really like portraying Valkyrie - mentally and physically.
Tell me about Hela.
TT: First of all, when I heard that Cate Blanchett was coming on board, I was still in the process of having conversations before I auditioned. And it was incredibly exciting news. I’m such a longtime fan of hers. I think also to have this villainess is a real steal for us all. We talk so much in Hollywood about representation of women, and we need really strong, stand-up parts for women, but we also need women who are in conflict and are not so great. We need representation all across the board. So I think it’s really exciting to get to see both ends of the spectrum in this film.
As much as Hela and Valkyrie are really sworn enemies, I think they have a lot of similarities. They both have a tremendous amount of anger that stems from their past that they haven’t been able to reconcile. In some ways you relate to both of them, and so you may not know which side you’re really on. And to me that’s what makes for an incredible villain. I feel that Cate is imbuing Hela with so much humanity, humor and grit. She’s also so charming and charismatic that she’s the kind of villain that you can’t really help yourself from liking. But she’s frightening, and Valkyrie is frightened of her. So it makes for a third act that is scary.