In 2017, it feels weird putting "first" before the word "female" or "woman." How could, in all these years, a woman be doing anything for the first time? Cate Blanchett agrees. The actress will be playing the dark and mysterious female villain in the third of Marvel's Thor movies, Thor: Ragnarok, making her the first female villain in the franchise (joining a slew of male co-stars such as Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, to name a few).
"Can you believe we’re having this conversation and it’s 2017 and we’re talking about the first female villain?" she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, talking about her new character. "It’s ridiculous. There’s so much untapped potential villainy in women. It’s really exciting. I think finally it’s beginning to be acknowledged that women and men want to see a diverse array of characters, and that’s race, gender across the sexual spectrum."
Blanchett's character is named Hela and she is the Goddess of Death, which is quite simply is all you need to know about the character. Or as Blanchett puts it: "She arrives with a lot of baggage. She's a little bit cross." The film's IMDb page describes her as "ruthless." Both of these brief descriptions sound like understatements for the type of evil she will release on the Marvel heroes.
Entertainment Weekly also asked Blanchett what drove her to the project, and we are obsessed with her answer. "Well let’s face it: as a woman, these opportunities have not in the past come up very frequently and I think there’s a revolution happening from within Marvel," she said. "I’ve seen so many of the Marvel franchises, particularly being the mother of four. They tend to be the only type of film particularly having young boys." Blanchett adds that she hopes there is a satisfaction in watching Hela, especially noting her character's personal journey which led her to become an evil villain. I'm sure there will be.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3.