Natalie Portman Is 'Very Excited' to Play Mighty Thor as She Prepares to 'Get Jacked' for Marvel Return
Natalie Portman is ready to pick up Thor's hammer.
The Oscar winner, 39, is set to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, in which she will become the first female to play the titular character.
And according to Portman, her version of Thor is not considered "Lady Thor" but rather "The Mighty Thor."
"She's actually The Mighty Thor," the actress told Serena Williams in a recent Instagram Live about their female-led WFC LA/Angel City soccer team. "The comics had the female Thor when Jane becomes Thor, and she's The Mighty Thor."
Portman explained to Williams, 38, that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming Marvel film has yet to start production. "We haven't started," the actress said of filming. "More time to get jacked. Which I have not. I've got the carbo-loading down, but not the exercise part."
Despite the production delays, Portman said that she is "very excited" for the new film, which she said will begin shooting in Australia in early 2021.
"Obviously everything is weird because of pandemic time, who knows what's happening," she said. "It will be exciting and I'm interested to see if I can gain muscle."
The mother of two also spoke about her favorite Marvel character: Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, who will also appear in Thor: Love and Thunder. "Major love for that woman," she said of Thompson, 36.
During the chat with Williams, Portman also spoke about her hopes for the future, specifically for her 3-year-old daughter Amalia, whom she shares with husband Benjamin Millepied (The pair are also parents to 9-year-old son Aleph).
"I just want there to be every opportunity," said Portman. "You're fighting for different ways of being a female athlete. In my profession, there's different ways of being a female actress. We have the opposite thing, we're like expected to frilly."
"You know, that everyone has the most possibility of being their truest self," she added.
Last week, both Portman and William were among a group of women awarded the rights to the National Women's Soccer League's Los Angeles-based team. The other founders include venture capitalist Kara Nortman, OUYA founder Julie Uhrman, Reddit co-founder and Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian, and actresses Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Lilly Singh.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Portman said she was initially inspired to take a closer look at the NWSL after she was introduced to players by Becca Roux, the executive director for the USWNT Players Association.
"We just started thinking about, what if there was a team in L.A.? We're the center of entertainment in this country for media," she said. "What can we do to change the way people are paying attention to this sport? Obviously, the players themselves have been incredible and have brought so much attention, but everything hasn't always followed their success and their popularity."
The all-female team's name is set to be revealed later this year but is currently referred to as WFC LA/Angel City.