“Thor: Love and Thunder” is Natalie Portman’s first major Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance since 2013’s “Thor 2.” While the “Black Swan” star is reprising her role as Jane Foster from the first two “Thor” films, her third appearance will be totally unlike anything Marvel people have ever seen her in before. Instead of sitting in the background as a love interest to her character, the God of Thunder, Taika Waititi’s new film will see her grabbing the hammer to dress as an actual superhero of her own.
However, to achieve this she needed to get into shape for the role of a superhero. Portman spent a lot of exercises to shoot the film, which included several months of fitness before she started actively building muscles. Once the filming started the actress was worked out until 4:30 a.m. each day. The entire process was overseen by her trainer Naomi Pendergast, who outlined Portman’s training regimen in a recent video interview for the magazine Variety.
“The goal and initial brief for working with Natalie were to develop arm and abdominal definition,” Pendergast explained. “However in order to reach Natalie to her goal without injury, we worked to build her body for around four months. This gave us the opportunity to effectively increase the weight to increase her size without causing any harm to the joints.”
When Portman was well enough to start building up without risking injuries, they headed off to the race. Since they trained during the COVID epidemic, a lot of their initial training was performed using dumbbells. There was also a lot of boxing.
“We worked on building her upper body three times a week, which included arm, back, chest exercises, boxing, skipping and running,” she explained. “The other two days were dedicated to injury prevention work, which included Pilates-based exercises, stretching, release work and balance exercises.”
Of course, exercise is not worth it without the proper diet, and Pendergast needed to make sure that Portman could build muscles while adhering to her diet of veganism.
“Natalie is an extremely healthy person with a very wholesome and clean diet, so we did not have to make any major changes to her food,” she stated. “Natalie is a vegan, so for her to get enough protein to bulk up the way she needed we had to increase her daily amount by adding vegan-based protein powders a couple of times a day.”
“Thor: Love and Thunder” opens in theatres on Friday, July 8.