After years of Valkyrie in “Thor” films, “Thor: Love and Thunder” will finally address the character’s bisexuality, according to star Tessa Thompson.
The actress revealed to Yahoo! Entertainment that the upcoming MCU installment will reference the comic book hero’s orientation, but in a subtle way.
“We talked about it a lot, it was big topic of conversation,” Thompson said. “Because I think rightfully there’s this real want in audiences to see characters be very clearly queer or LGBTQIA+ inside these spaces. And I think it’s hugely important to have representation.”
She continued, “And also as humans I think that we are not defined by our sexuality, and by who we love. And so sometimes I think to hang a narrative completely on that is a way of actually diminishing the humanity of the character. Because you don’t allow them to be anything else.”
Thompson, who is bisexual in real life, spoke at length with “Thor: Love and Thunder” writer/director Taika Waititi about appropriately honoring the Marvel character’s origins.
“It becomes the only storyline, particularly in a movie like this where you don’t, frankly, have a lot of room for storyline,” Thompson explained. “So there was a lot of conversation in terms of how to treat that with Valkyrie. And I feel really good, personally, about where we got to. I hope that she’s a character that fans continue to connect to, that we have a lot of time to explore her, in all of her humanity. But whether or not she finds love in this movie doesn’t mean she’s not still a fabulous queer character that is open to finding love when it makes sense.”
Thompson previously told Rolling Stone that she wanted to reference Valkyrie’s sexuality with a woman leaving her bedroom in “Thor: Ragnarok.” Ultimately, however, that scene was cut. “[Waititi] kept it in the film as long as he could,” the “Westworld” star said at the time. “Eventually the bit had to be cut because it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition.”
Thompson also tweeted in 2017 that she was “faithful” to the comic book depiction of “Val” aka Valkyrie, adding, “But her sexuality isn’t explicitly addressed in ‘Thor: Ragnarok.'”
“Thor: Love and Thunder” director Waititi recently opened up about including a same-sex kiss in his HBO series “Our Flag Means Death” with his character, telling The New York Times that the scene wasn’t newsworthy.
“It needs to be normalized,” Waititi stated. “No one talks about Tom Cruise hooking up with Jennifer Connelly in ‘Top Gun,’ but in ‘Our Flag Means Death,’ it’s a massive talking point that two dudes kiss on the beach. I’m cool with talking about it because I’m really proud of the moment. But my dream is to be like the world of the pirates, where no one bats an eye.”
Waititi’s comments echo those of “Lightyear” star Chris Evans who shared he was “frustrated” with that a queer love story onscreen “even has to be a topic of discussion” in 2022.
“The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is,” Evans said. “That representation across the board is how we make films. Look, it’s an honor to be a part of something that is taking those steps, but the goal is to look back on this time and just be shocked that it took us this long to get there.”