How Natalie Portman Got ‘As Big as Possible’ for Thor: Love and Thunder

How Natalie Portman Got ‘As Big as Possible’ for Thor: Love and Thunder
Image: Disney/Marvel

Taika Waititi’s latest exploration into the world of Thor Odinson, Thor: Love and Thunder, has turned heads for loads of reasons. One of the most attention-grabbing elements, however, is that Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster is offered a chance to wield the hammer as her own take on the Mighty Thor.

And as fans have quickly come to notice, Portman certainly looked the part for the film. So, what kind of work goes into building a superhero bod like the Mighty Thor’s? Here’s a look at Natalie Portman’s training program in the lead-up to Thor: Love and Thunder.

Natalie Portman’s prep for the Mighty Thor

How Natalie Portman Got ‘As Big as Possible’ for Thor: Love and Thunder
Natalie Portman’s training program for Mighty Thor. Credit: Marvel/Disney

Way back in October 2020, Natalie Portman chatted with Jimmy Fallon about her prep for Thor: Love and Thunder and briefly touched on how intense her workout routine was for the role.

It’s a quick chat, but essentially, at the 2:40 mark, you can hear her speak about how tired she felt and how she dreaded the workout sessions. Relatable.

More recently, in an interview with Variety, Portman chatted about how she has never been asked to build her size and strength for a film before and spoke about the challenge of that task.

“On Black Swan, I was asked to get as small as possible,” she told Variety.

“Here, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge — and also state of mind as a woman.”

In order to match the physique of the Mighty Thor from the comics, and seemingly match the ability of Thor Odinson on screen, Portman was put to work for 10 months. Over that period, she worked on building her muscle mass, especially in her arms and shoulders, Variety reports.

She told the outlet that having such size really showed her a different way of experiencing the world.

“To have this reaction and be seen as big, you realize, ‘Oh, this must be so different, to walk through the world like this,’” Portman said.

What did the workouts look like?

thor natalie portman training
Natalie Portman’s training program for Mighty Thor. Credit: Marvel/Disney

In a separate piece, Variety also chatted with trainer Naomi Pendergast of RPX Fitness who was the person behind building Natalie Portman’s body for Thor 4.

She explained that turning Natalie Portman into Mighty Thor required months of conditioning first, eventually followed by more bodyweight and slow-rep weight lifting which gradually increased in load.

The training program also included loads of pilates, boxing, skipping and running for a well-rounded approach.

Additionally, as the training began during lockdown, they were forced to start off with free weights at Portman’s home, and only brought sessions to the gym once filming started.

In terms of regularity, Portman trained every day for 1 and a half to 2 hours in the early morning (about 4:30 am). And her diet consisted of a whole lot of protein shakes for the 10-month journey.

A fair bit of work goes into turning yourself into a Viking god, hey?

If you’re keen to see Natalie Portman put all that strength to good use, you’ll be happy to know that Thor: Love and Thunder hits Australian cinemas on July 6.

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