I was invited by Disney on an all expenses paid trip in exchange for my coverage of the #ThorRagnarokEvent. All opinions are my own.
Marvel Studios’ THOR RAGNAROK is NOW PLAYING in theaters! Be sure to check out our review of Thor Ragnarok if you haven’t already. I LOVE this movie and it is easily one of my favorite Marvel movies to date. It is SO GOOD!
While I was in LA we got to sit down with Rachel House who plays “Topaz”. You probably also know her as the voice of “Gramma Tala” in Disney’s MOANA. She was super nice in person and it was a real pleasure hearing her thoughts on Thor Ragnarok.
How hard was it to keep a straight face with all of the hilarious scenes in this movie?
Rachel House: You know I’m pretty used to keeping a straight face, ‘cause I’ve done a lot of Taika’s films, and it’s always like that. But some of the other actors weren’t so good at it. Like they were losing it, especially Jeff Goldblum, ‘cause he was, he was so funny. And, that’s not even half of it what you see. It’s not even a quarter of the improvisation and stuff that we were doing, you know? And Jeff was just so masterful at improvisation.
Speaking of that, what was your favorite scene that didn’t make it in the movie, or something that you wish had made it in?
Rachel House: You know, there’s a lot, and I believe that they’re gonna do a little kinda gag real, it was something like that Taika was saying last night. There’s a whole thing we do with writing out a check, which is so bizarre in that environment. You know, I’m kind of giving instructions on how to write out a check in my stupid Kiwi accent as well. It’s pretty funny I think. But yeah, Jeff was fabulous.
What’s your favorite part of working with Taika?
Rachel House: Uh. Just the fun. Yeah, the fun of it is really good. It was a lot of fun. And Taika was allowed to play as much as possible. So, that was really great seeing him able to do that without any kind of time restraint as much (as other movies he has done in the past with short time frames).
You made us laugh and cry in Moana.
Rachel House: Oh, yeah. Thanks.
What was that like transforming to this character?
Rachel House: Um. Kind of easy-ish. It’s a kind of character that Taika always makes me play. You know what I mean? It’s funny, ‘cause I just play all these really mean characters and I’m not mean at all. I’m sort of really oohhhh about meanness. So I think he kind of enjoys that.
How did you first get approached for this film? Did Taika come straight to you?
Rachel House: No. I got a top-secret kind of audition that I had to do through my agent. And she said, “Oh, it’s for Marvel.” And I said, “Well, that’ll be Taika.” And she went, “Oh yeah, of course, it will.” And then I was given this tiny little saying with a few lines. And then did a tape and then sent it off. And then got a very kind of drawl email from Taika saying, “Oh, by the way, you got the role.” You know, which is really lovely. I don’t know if they saw any other people. I’m not sure. But he sort of, I think he kind of tried to make it what he wanted to see me do, even though most of it hasn’t ended up in the film, but that’s okay. It’s okay. There’s better stuff in the film.
How did you get involved with Taika in the first place?
Rachel House: So, we’ve known each other since I met him (Taika) when he was 17. And he was in a play in this little theater in Wellington, and he was the best thing about it, you know? And I was a couple years older, and at drama school at the time. And I just met him after and said, “You were so great. Thank you so much.” And then started becoming a fan of his little crazy comedy stuff that he’d do with Jemaine and Bret, and another guy called Nigel Collins. They’d have sword fights with straws and reenact Star Wars. And that was their comedy. So, I became a very big fan. From then, we just kept staying in touch. And I mean, I had no idea he was gonna end up being an awesome film director. He was an artist, and an actor, and a comedian.
How long did it take you in the makeup chair every day?
Rachel House: Not that, not as long as you might think. Yeah. I can’t remember. I think, uh, maybe about an hour. Actually, that is long, isn’t it? Actually yeah, I think I did spend more time in the makeup chair.
Were you familiar with much of the Thor comics?
Rachel House: No, I won’t lie, no.
As you were filming, did you do any research at all?
Rachel House: Well I watched a lot of Marvel films. So I got familiar with the universe. But not all of them. I’m still catching up. I haven’t seen all the Avengers films. I know I should do that. Because someone’s going, “Who’s your favorite Avenger?” ‘Cause I just see them as separate people.
Was last night the first time you got to see the film?
Rachel House: Yes.
What did you think about seeing it with all of us?
Rachel House: Great. And it’s so Taika. So full of comedy, and his unique brand of humor. And Korg was so great. It was amazing. And, you know, people back in New Zealand are just gonna fall about, because it’s such a familiar character. You know, that character is very real.
Do you have any favorite one-liners from the movie?
Rachel House: Um. I probably do, but they haven’t made it in. So, there was, I mean, burnt toast I really liked, but that was one of about a 100 different things I said. And that’s the one that made it in. But I remember they would have been a couple of others and they were pretty hilarious. Yeah. But I like burnt toast. Look, there’s so many. Uh to me Valkyrie is just oh my gosh, what a character. She’s so good.
Is there a backstory there with your character and Valkyrie?
Rachel House: Yeah there was so much more. That little moment at the beginning. And it happened on the day, you know, with the encouragement of Taika. But we just started doing it sort of naturally. Because we were both trying to out warrior each other, you know? So, yeah.
Did you get along with Tessa Thompson in real life?
Rachel House: Oh, yeah, she’s a darling. What a darling. She’s wonderful. I felt so embarrassed because I watched Creed, and I said to her, “Oh, I loved you in that boxing film.” I always forget names of things. And then I realized that I’d seen Dear White People like three times, ‘cause I love it so much. And she’s in it, and I had no idea when I met her I was like, “Oh.” So, it wasn’t until afterward where I actually Googled her, because I tend not to want to Google the people I’m about to work with, especially if they’re kind of famous, you know, ‘cause I don’t wanna necessarily have that pressure, you know, feel intimidated. So, I didn’t do any of that. But once I realized it was her in Dear White People, I started Googling and seeing how much else she’d done.
Can you tell us a little bit more about any of the cutscenes that you really enjoyed seeing come into production, but didn’t see come into the movie?
Rachel House: Yeah. There was this whole scene where Jeff does a song at the keyboards. And, he made it up. It was really cool. I mean, I think he had a tiny little bit to kind of go with, but then he just kept expanding. As you know, he is a wonderful jazz musician anyway. So, he just expanded that, and then I was sort of his back up, really bad back up singer as well. So, that didn’t make it in, which is a bummer.
How much of your lines were adlibbed? How much was scripted? Did a lot of ad-libbing stuff make it into the final cut?
Rachel House: Uh. Not as much as I thought might. Yeah. Um. Actually, a lot of it was, it was a lot of script. Which was interesting. Yeah.
Was it intimidating to step into the Marvel universe?
Rachel House: Yes. of course it was. But you get over that really quickly. You know, when you meet people. There are so many wonderful people involved in the Marvel universe, and just meeting them. And yeah, they’re just people. They’re just normal people, talented people. So, yeah, the intimidation didn’t last long.
You have a lot of fans from your character.
Rachel: Oh, thank you. That’s so nice. I said to Taika last night, “You just keep me in your films to pull faces.” Like, yeah.
What did you find most challenging as a performer on set every day?
Rachel House: Um. To be honest, my costume. It was really stiff. It was hard to move. And also, when we were doing that spaceship scene, I was like ‘grrrrr’, ‘cause it’s quite stiff. It’s beautifully made. You know, the costume designer is out of this world. But that was a bit hard to move in.
Where the fight scenes something new for you?
Rachel House: Yes. Yeah. Definitely.
That’s what’s fun about acting, it’s always something different.
Rachel House: Yeah, you do things that you don’t normally do. Totally.
She was so very nice to talk to. And she even took a group photo with us.
Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK is NOW PLAYING in theaters everywhere!
Watch the trailer…
Also, check out:
- Talking Thor Ragnarok with Karl Urban “Skurge”
- Behind the Scenes of Thor Ragnarok with Director Taika Waititi
- Talking with Thor Ragnarok Producer Kevin Feige
- my Red Carpet experience at the World Premiere of Thor Ragnarok
- DIY Hela Headdress, Hela Halloween Pumpkin, and Mjolnir Candy Apples
- Thor Ragnarok Character Posters
Follow THOR: RAGNAROK on Twitter
Follow Marvel Studios on Instagram
“In Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first, he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! THOR: RAGNAROK is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.“-Marvel Studios