Not all celebrities look forward to wearing unforgiving, full-body lycra, but Cate Blanchett welcomed the challenge for her villainous role as Hela Goddess of Death in Thor: Ragnarok.
“It was hugely enjoyable for me,” Blanchett told reporters recently in Los Angeles. “And apart from working with these guys [her cast members and director Taika Watiti], the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit and to wear that much lycra was really exciting for me.”
How did she pull it off?
“I worked with Chris [Hemsworth’s] trainer, Luke Zocchi, for 20 minutes a day, which doesn’t sound like much, but my god, it was intense. And Zoe Bell, who is an extraordinary actress and director in her own right. But I was blessed every day with the fact that she was my stunt double.”
Blanchett says that Bell — a renowned stunt woman for Quentin Tarantino films like Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, TV’s Alias and Xena: Warrior Princess — helped her master the movement of the character, particularly when it came to pretending to throw Hela’s powerful weapons.
“When I started, I had to manifest these weapons and I had to throw them,” she explained. “And I could see Taika’s disappointment as I threw it, I said, ‘Ha.’ And I had to stop making the noises, because I’d go, ‘Ha.’ And so I had to close my mouth.
“And so eventually Zoe suggested that I put some sugar, which was deeply humiliating, sugar packets in my hand so at least I could throw something and be real. So Zoe helped me with little things like that. She was a great action director. So I moved from the humiliating to the exhilarating in a matter of five days.”
Thor: Ragnarok is now in theaters.