Tessa Thompson‘s character in Thor: Love and Thunder is more than a warrior, a Valkyrie, or a King. She’s part of a turning tide in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is striving for inclusion that is representative of what our world actually looks like. And she knows it and the responsibility that rests on her shoulders when it comes to showing those in our communities that we too can be heroes that save the day.
Remezcla got a chance to speak with Thompson about what it was like to return to the MCU and continue on this journey with this fierce warrior. And along the way, we learned the importance of King Valkyrie to Thompson, why she keeps coming back to this character, and the future of this queer icon that is loved by fans, many of who are desperately seeking to see themselves in the content they consume.
Tessa Thompson sees you. And she understands the importance of her work and how it brings people together or gives them a moment to self-reflect and truly feel found in the world around them. “I think the stories that we tell and how we tell them really reverberate into representing the times we live too. So, it’s not lost on me in terms of the opportunity to help folks be seen.”
Valkyrie makes people feel less alone. She makes us feel less alone. As Thompson explained, “I don’t know what it is about being able to see a reflection of yourself on screen that makes you feel less alone. But I think that’s why we all like movies and television shows. Because we have the opportunity to invest in parts of our own humanity in seeing them being projected on screen.”
And Thompson really felt the real-world implications of it all when she went to the Thor: Love and Thunder world premiere in LA. “It really meant a lot to me the other night when we had our premiere, I felt really emotional at seeing all of these young women and girls, and particularly Black women, Afro-Latinas, and women of color dressed as Valkyrie. And it occurs to me that it’s so fun to dress up as your heroes. And it’s doubly fun when you can do it and go, “Wow. I look like this hero and this hero looks like me.”
This isn’t the only way that Thompson’s character of Valkyrie makes people feel seen. It’s also in the LGBTQ+ representation that her character brings to this universe, which is further explored in Thor: Love and Thunder in a way that doesn’t feel performative. Instead, it feels real and honest to the hero and person Valkyrie is.
“What felt really important to me is that sometimes there’s this inclination when you’re dealing with a queer character, you have to center the character entirely around their queerness,” Thompson said when speaking about Valkyrie and the movie and TV industry’s long history of making queer characters journeys only centered around the fact that they’re part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Thompson continued on by saying, “And in my estimation, that’s actually a way of diminishing their humanity because we know if you’re a queer human, that’s just one facet of your humanity. It’s one part of you. It’s not your sum total. So we felt like the best way to represent Valkyrie was to let her be all the things that she is. And her queerness is one part of that.”
So where does Valkyrie go from here?
Thompson is open to anything, including a TV show that further explores this character, her journey, and her queerness. After all, she loves playing this character, as much as we like seeing her on our screens, and would do anything for her. And by the way that Thompson lit up when we asked her this question, we immediately knew it was going to be a ‘yes.’
“I love playing this character and would love playing her in any form that makes sense. I think something that’s so exciting about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how they take things that are canon, things that exist in the comic books, and they find a way to integrate it into a world of their own that is so intricate.”
And we’d watch every second of it, especially if it means more Tessa Thompson in our lives.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters July 8, 2022.