- Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi were already friends prior to teaming up for “Thor: Ragnarok.”
- The stars agreed not to tell Marvel of their friendship before Waititi was hired as the director.
- “I didn’t want to get a job because of my friend. And he would feel awkward,” Waititi said in a new book.
“We’d decided not to tell these guys that we knew each other because I didn’t want to get a job because of my friend. And he would feel awkward,” Waititi said in a new behind-the-scenes book called “The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.
He continued: “But we would often just chat about things we wanted to do to make it more fun and irreverent. I think the main focus was making the character more like Chris, because he’s so funny, to bring out in the character his sense of humor and his comic ability as an actor.”
It’s unclear when exactly the two met, but Hemsworth was interested in meeting the director after seeing his 2010 film “Boy.”
“It felt like a first date,” Hemsworth told The Hollywood Reporter’s “Heat Vision” of their first interaction. “It was pretty awkward.”
“Well, I don’t get awkward,” said Waititi in response. “He was probably just very nervous to meet me. You know what they say, don’t meet your heroes and all.”
“Thor: Ragnarok,” the third standalone film about the God of Thunder, was released in 2017 to rave reviews. Critics and fans praised Waititi for reinvigorating the character and taking risks (like cutting off Thor’s signature long hair and shattering Mjolnir).
Hemsworth made his Marvel debut as the comic-book character in 2011’s “Thor.” He went on to appear in several more films, but was vocal about getting bored with the character and wanting a change – especially after the lackluster sequel “Thor: The Dark World.”
When it came time to search for a director for “Ragnarok,” executive producer Brad Winderbaum already had Waititi in mind based on the director’s work on the films “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Boy,” according to the Marvel book.
“His name came up on a shortlist for ‘Thor [Ragnarok],'” Hemsworth said at the film’s premiere, per USA Today. “And I called him up and I said, ‘You know what, I think we’ve got to pretend we don’t know one another, and let it be Marvel’s idea that you’re the right guy for the job.’ So we kind of manipulated that situation quite nicely.”
Waititi ended up impressing Marvel Studios with his pitch and landed the job as the “Ragnarok” director.
He and Hemsworth will reunite for the upcoming “Thor” sequel titled “Thor: Love and Thunder,” set for release on July 8, 2022.