Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Branagh: Thor needs human dimension

Kenneth Branagh wanted to keep the human dimension in Thor

Kenneth Branagh has said it was important to keep the "human dimension" to his film adaptation of Thor.

He said: "I am surrounded by visual effects designers and costume designers and production designers who I know are going to deliver the 'spectacle', but I've been on pictures like this where that sometimes feels empty because the human dimension isn't as developed."

The actor and director insisted on a lengthy rehearsal period, and continued to fine-tune performances throughout filming by insisting on numerous takes.

"Some actors think there's something wrong if you go over three takes but if they trust me, then we'll sculpt every single moment," he said.

It was a mantra that applied to veterans as well as novices, as witnessed during the big father-son confrontation scene in which Odin banishes Thor.

Initially, the central emotion was anger but actor Chris Hemsworth has recalled the moment Branagh went over to co-star Hopkins and said, 'Let this affect you. Be upset. I dare you'.

Afterwards, Hopkins put in the type of performance that had grown men on set crying, and caused the Silence Of The Lambs star to exclaim "he's good, isn't he, that Branagh?".

The director finds this story hilarious: "Well, when you can tell someone like Hopkins that his character's heart must break in this moment, that the stakes are that high, you know as an actor he can take off another layer of skin and expose this vulnerable beating heart. It's that extra frisson that you get as an audience member," he said.

:: Thor is out in cinemas now.

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