Thhe teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok delivered a blend of action, humor and cosmic scale that seemed to strike a chord with audiences, and signaled that Marvel Studios was right to place its faith in What We Do In the Shadows director Taika Waititi. However, the filmmaker had already earned a fan in Jeff Goldblum.
The actor revealed he was already familiar with Waititi, who encouraged him to improvise his scenes as the manipulative Grandmaster.
“What I particularly loved is the director, Taika Waititi. He really got me involved in this because I’m a fan of his, from Flight of the Conchords and all his movies, not only Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Boy but especially What We Do In the Shadows,” Goldblum told Entertainment Weekly. “When we first talked, he said, ‘I want you to do your particular version of this character without being comic-y or grandiloquent. I think you should do something that’s in your creative family tree. And also improvise.’ He was very interested in improvisation. We came to all those scenes and riffed enjoyably for the time we had. I don’t know what’s gonna come out in the mix because we gave him a whole bunch of different choices, I’ll tell you that. He’s great. Taika Waititi gets 10 Goldblums out of a possible 10 Goldblums.”
He also praised co-stars Cate Blanchett and Chris Hemsworth. “I didn’t have scenes with Cate Blanchett, but she was in The Life Aquatic, of course, so we’d been in touch, and I’ve seen her since. I just adore her, so it was great to be in another movie with her, even just by association,” he said. “The other Hemsworth brother, that now makes two for me, and he couldn’t have been sweeter or more down-to-earth, like the whole family.”
In Thor: Ragnarok, Goldblum’s Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Universe and ruler of the barbaric planet Sakaar, where gladiatorial games are conducted for his amusement. It’s there that Chris Hemsworth’s banished Thor is pitted against Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk. While in the comics the Grandmaster is blue, Goldblum’s incarnation of the character won’t be because the actor played a similarly blue character in the 1988 film Earth Girls Are Easy.
Opening Nov. 3, Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.