Over the weekend, affable veteran actor Anthony Hopkins was haunting the hallways at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, shaking the hands of various journalists as he showed off a new grey beard. When a couple of journalists asked him who he was playing in his next movie, he responded “I’m God!” and then burst out laughing.
Moments earlier, the Oscar-winner sat down with MTV to explore a few of the finer points of his character in Marvel’s now-filming blockbuster.
“It’s for ‘Thor’,” he said of the beard. “It has a great director in Kenneth Branagh. So, I’m lucky. In the past year I’ve worked with [‘Wolfman’] filmmaker Joe Johnston, Woody Allen and Ken Branagh.”
A veteran star who has played all kinds of complex characters, one thing Hopkins has never portrayed is a god — so, as he works on telling the tale of Marvel’s hammer-wielding hero, the 73-year-old actor is getting a kick out of it.
“I knew nothing of it,” he said of the “Thor” character, who has been appearing in comics since 1962. “It’s a surprise to be in these sort of movies.”
As Marvel fans know, Thor has often appeared a bit stiff due to his Asgardian multi-millennial life and tendency to rely heavily on old-timey talk. But according to Hopkins — who played Claudius in a 1969 version of “Hamlet” — this is a superhero interpretation, not a Shakespeare one.
“It’s a superhero movie, but with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in,” revealed Hopkins, who plays Thor’s irascible daddy Odin in the flick. “It’s a big, big broad thing. This is a bit of a Shakespeare movie as well, on a big scope.”
As for the key question of whether Thor will contain “Thee,” “Thou” and other such words, Hopkins said absolutely not.
“No, not in this,” he said of the blockbuster. “It’s all modern language.”
Although they’re still early into shooting, Hopkins — who can be seen in “Wolfman” this weekend — told us that he’s enjoyed working with some of the film’s lesser-known stars, such as Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who play his dueling sons.
“Oh, I love working with young actors,” he said of the duo, flashing a grin. “I don’t have to do much work. I let them do all the work. I let them act, and then I just stand back.”
What do you think of Branagh’s decision to lose Thor’s “thou” and “thee” speech patterns? Will it help update the character, or take him too far away from his roots? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter!