Landing an A-list star like Angelina Jolie to play a significant part in Eternals was viewed as a huge coup for Marvel Studios, especially when the actress had significantly scaled back her onscreen output during the last decade to focus on her family and career behind the camera.
As it turns out, part of her decision to join the comic book franchise may have been due to her belief that Thena wouldn’t require much more from her than a glorified cameo, which turned out not to be the case. In a new set visit interview via ComicBook, producer Nate Moore revealed that Jolie didn’t think she’d have much screentime when Marvel first reached out.
“When we first talked to her, I think she thought, well, I know she thought we wanted her for a very, very small cameo. So she was sort of surprised at the size of the role, and really threw herself into Thena and creating a movement style for Thena and a fighting style for Thena that was unique.”
Moore then went on to explain that the Academy Award winner’s extensive background in the action genre saw her work closely with the stunt team to develop a fighting and movement style that she hadn’t trained in before.
“She’s been through it with Salt and with Tomb Raider and Gone in 60 Seconds, all these movies. So and we sort of collaborated with her and our stunt coordinator to create a movement style that did feel different because she has done so much. She could say, ‘Well, I’ve done this before. What if we tried this other thing?’. And part of that was developing a weapon system that she could train and become sort of fluent in, because she hadn’t done a lot of swordplay and she hadn’t done a lot of staff fighting and things like that.”
Jolie confirmed that she’d turned down multiple offers from various superhero movies in the past, with director Chloé Zhao ultimately convincing her to sign on for Eternals. Fans and co-stars alike have been praising her at every turn, so we’re expecting big things from one of her generation’s most accomplished talents and popular action heroes.