The actor behind Valkyrie shadowed Taika Waititi in postproduction and advocated for a scene to stay in: “That has to be in the movie!”
Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie may not be enamored with the added responsibility of being King of Asgard in Thor: Love and Thunder, but the actor feels just the opposite about her relatively new title of producer. In 2021, Thompson launched a production company known as Viva Maude and signed a first-look deal at HBO and HBO Max, with two TV projects already in development.
Knowing that Thompson wanted to learn more about the process of producing, Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi invited her to participate in the post-production process of his Thor: Ragnarok follow-up. And while watching an early cut, Thompson even fought for a quick moment involving “Val” and two actor characters played by Matt Damon and Luke Hemsworth.
“There was one cut where that bit went away and I was so sad, but then it came back and I was so happy. I was like, ‘That has to be in the movie!’” Thompson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So I was very sad for a brief second when it wasn’t there, but that was so fun. Having them around to explore the importance of theater and storytelling, as expressed in Asgardian culture, I just loved that.”
Thompson is also opening up about her recent experience on Creed III and how the dynamic between her and Michael B. Jordan didn’t change all that much despite him serving as director. Much like Waititi, Jordan welcomed Thompson’s feedback as they further developed the story and her character, Bianca.
“In the past, it’s been a lot of work to make sure that she has agency and an arc in the context of these sports films, essentially,” Thompson says. “I wanted to make sure that she’s not just moving the plot forward, and that she actually has something interesting to do. And I typically do that work with the writers … but this time around, I could do that work more actively with Mike. I also had a lot more freedom to improvise on the day than the past ones.”