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Why Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson is just as badass as her Valkyrie character

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We cannot wait to see mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) return to fight for Asgard against evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) in this month's Thor: Ragnarok, especially as baddie-turned-goodie Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is making a comeback to assist his brother too.

However director Taika Waititi’s (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows) retro-inspired addition to the Thor franchise will also introduce us to Nordic Gods from the comic books we haven’t met before. One of these characters is tough Asgardian warrior Valkyrie, played by the ever-so-talented Tessa Thompson.

Having starred in a huge franchise already as Bianca in hit Rocky spinoff Creed, Tessa has also appeared in the critically acclaimed Dear White People and in the celebrated Martin Luther King drama Selma.

She's just as badass as her formidable Marvel character – we've rounded up some unforgettable moments that prove why.


1. She's given us the best life advice

This fan has probably received the best career guidance advice they will ever experience, after they asked how to make it as an actor like Tessa.

2. She knows how to make an entrance (in LEGO form)

Tessa Thompson is not going to be hiding in the corner while the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who have been soaking up all the attention for the past two Thor films, take centre stage promoting Ragnarok.

As soon as the LEGO version of her character Valkyrie appeared, Tessa wanted the whole world to see. Rather than humbly asking people to look at her mini figure, Tessa simply tweeted the world two simple words: 'it me'. Talk about an entrance.

3. She's standing up for diversity

There was a lot of backlash when Tessa’s casting was announced, but the actress has been vocal on Twitter to ensure that people know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is moving towards more positive, inclusive representation in their characters. Of course, our lovely Tessa isn’t mean in her tweets, but rather poking fun.

4. She encourages academic pursuits

Even if fans are distracted by her awesome tweets, Tessa likes to think that a little bit of learning can be achieved 140 (now 280) characters at a time.

5. She's all about inclusivity

Obviously showing her love for a good ol’ emoji, Tessa loves interacting with her fans and making everyone feel welcome in the superhero world. This is just one example of how absolutely lovely she is.

6. She's got her fellow actors' backs

Tessa could have simply applauded actor Ed Skrein, who recently departed the Hellboy reboot over a controversial whitewashing debate. Instead, she declares that that he’s marriage material. Sweet!

7. She's an all-round talent warrior

Valkyrie is a swordfighting pro and not to be underestimated. Likewise, Tessa is skilled in more than just the art of acting – indeed she has a wonderful singing voice as heard in Creed. Just listen for yourself.

8. She commits 100%

When reading the script for Ragnarok, Tessa noticed that she had the opportunity to create something cool and unique with Valkyrie’s voice. In an interview with Collider she explained all:

Then you read the source material and anytime Valkyrie speaks it’s in those cool italics — so I’m like, ‘She has an accent!’ And Taika’s [the director] like, ‘It doesn’t matter. They won’t care.’ Even Tony Hopkins, who I worked with recently on the show Westworld, was like ‘Oh darling, it doesn’t matter, they’ll be eating popcorn.’ That’s literally what he said to me! But I’m a nerd and I go back to the source material and I’m like, ‘I have to speak in italics.’ I don’t know how else to approach the part. So we [settled] on something that felt like it honors Asgard.

9. She's a true nerd

Even when looking at her character’s figurines for the film, Tessa's able to appreciate real craftsmanship when she sees it. How wonderfully geeky is that?

It’s tricky to see where Tessa Thompson ends and Valkyrie begins, as they both seem as cool and badass as each other. Cast your verdict on her level of awesomeness when Thor: Ragnarok puts the hammer down on 24th October.

Nadine Shambrook is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.


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