When Natalie Portman described her "Thor" leading lady Jane Foster as "an unusual female character for one of these movies," she wasn't joking around.
The actress recently spoke with The Los Angeles Times and revealed her extensive research process in creating the Foster character. Portman said that she was very involved in the creation of Foster's personality and experience for the big screen, thanks in large to the collaborative nature of director Kenneth Branagh.
“I did think it was a total opportunity,” she said. “I signed on to do it before there was a script. And Ken, who’s amazing, who is so incredible, was like, ‘You can really help create this character.'"
In "Thor," Foster is presented as a skeptical scientist who runs into the Norse god of thunder after he's fallen to Earth because of his failures in Asgard. According to Portman, her research into Foster's background and history was much more grounded in reality than it was in the pages of Marvel Comics lore.
“I got to read all of these biographies of female scientists like Rosalind Franklin who actually discovered the DNA double helix but didn’t get the credit for it,” she said. “The struggles they had and the way that they thought — I was like, ‘What a great opportunity, in a very big movie that is going to be seen by a lot of people, to have a woman as a scientist.’ She’s a very serious scientist. Because in the comic she’s a nurse and now they made her an astrophysicist. Really, I know it sounds silly, but it is those little things that makes girls think it’s possible. It doesn’t give them a [role] model of ‘Oh, I just have to dress cute in movies.’”
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