When Cate Blanchett takes on the role of Hela in Marvel Studio’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” the actress will become the first female villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s nine-year run. Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death, seems like an appropriate choice for the first villainous lady to really stir things up for the film’s protagonists Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). But how close does Blanchett’s Hela hew to her comic books origins?
Blanchett recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the similarities between “Thor: Ragnarok’s” Hela and the comic book version of the character. The actress revealed she studied the character extensively when asked if she read comics in which Hela appeared to prepare for the role.
“Oh yes. I mean, you gotta know the history of the character,” she said. “And there are so many iterations of the origin story. For any of these characters, there’s never one origin story. But yes, it was really interesting to go back. Most of the time she was masked. So that’s what I really talked to the Marvel team and Taika about was when we would chose to have her masked and when she wouldn’t be masked.”
Blanchett also noted that Hela’s accessories are more than just godly adornments: some of them are weapons. One such accessory is her headdress, but that’s not all. “She’s able to manifest weapons. Her headdress can be weapons,” she revealed. “She can manifest weapons out of different parts of her body. I won’t tell you which — I’ll leave that hanging.”
Hela originally debuted in “Journey into Mystery” #102 back in 1964. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Hela has gone through numerous iterations since she premiered. Her comic books origins peg her as the daughter of Loki and the frost giant Angerboda, though she boasts many of the same powers and resistances of the Asgardian gods.
Hela’s mystical cloak grants her a vast array of powers as well as everlasting beauty and youth. As the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela’s touch is often characterized as lethal and, on occasion, she is portrayed as being able to fire deadly energy bolts that can kill or incapacitate an Asgardian. Transforming accessories and body parts, however, is a new addition to the character’s deadly collection of tricks.
Directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Mark Ruffalo, “Thor: Ragnarok” is set to be released on November 3, 2017.
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