‘Thor’ star Anthony Hopkins explains the ruthless charm of Odin

Feb. 16, 2010 | 3:32 p.m.
Odin

Anthony Hopkins is ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard. “For ‘Thor,’” he pointed out, “I don’t just play a father, I play the god-father.”

Work is underway on the fourth Marvel Studios film, and Hopkins said he is enthused about working with the cast that is led by Chris Hemsworth (who played the doomed father of James T. Kirk in “Star Trek“) as the Thunder God and Natalie Portman as his mortal love, Jane Foster.

Anthony Hopkins 2007

Hopkins is taking on the role of Odin, ruler of Asgard and father of both the noble Thor and the nefarious Loki. The 72-year-old actor said it’s a meaty role for him and, like his role in “The Wolfman,” it allows him to test the tricky physics of paternal relationships.

“I’m very interested in that relationship between fathers and sons,” Hopkins said. “My father’s relationship with me was cold. He was a hot-blood character but to me, cold. When I was young, he expressed his disappointment because I was bad in school and all of that. He didn’t mean any harm, but I felt I could never meet up to his expectations.”

The morality tales and melodramas of Marvel Comics have a lot of fascinating fathers, and they have led to some memorable performances in Hollywood’s adaptations — Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn, William Hurt as Gen. “Thunderbolt” Ross and Brian Cox as William Stryker spring to mind.

Hopkins, a native of Wales, has plenty of experience with sword scabbards and royal roles or antiquity. On that list of roles: He was Hrothgar in the Robert Zemeckis version of “Beowulf,” Titus Andronicus in the 1999 film “Titus” and, way back in 1968, he made his feature-film debut as Richard the Lionhearted in Anthony Harvey’s sublime “A Lion in Winter.”

He said he has high hopes for “Thor” ( “Kenneth Branagh is such a terrific director and a wonderful guy to work with”) especially because he finds a personal resonance in the Odin role.

“He’s a stern man. He’s a man with purpose. I play the god who banishes his son from the kingdom of Asgard because he screwed up. He’s a hot-headed, temperamental young man — probably a chip off of the old block — but I decide he’s not really ready to rule the future kingdom, so I banish him. I’m harsh and my wife complains and I say, ‘That is why I’m king.’ He’s ruthless, take-it-or-leave-it. Women are much more forgiving; men are not so forgiving. I know in my life, my karma is, ‘If you don’t like it, tough, move on.’ And I move on. I’m a little like Odin myself.”

– Geoff Boucher

RECENT AND RELATED

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins on horror roles: “I like to act like a submarine” 

KISS star Gene Simmons howled for “Wolfman” sound effects

Matt Fraction’s plans for “Thor”

Hammer time: Chris Hemsworth ready for “Thor”

Leterrier’s dream: An ‘Avengers’ epic — four films, one summer

Marvel is on a mission in Hollywood

Fred Hembeck salutes Captain America

“The Wolf Man,” the history of a howling success

VIDEO: The legacy of Lon Chaney Jr., looking back in horror

Full-moon fever: The clawing appeal of werewolves

IMAGES: Top right, Odin and his thunder baby (Marvel Comics). Anthony Hopkins on the red carpet (Getty Images). Bottom, Hannibal Lecter behind bars. (MGM)

Comments


One Response to ‘Thor’ star Anthony Hopkins explains the ruthless charm of Odin

  1. George Jackson says:

    ‘If you don’t like it, tough, move on.’ And I move on. I’m a little like Odin myself.”…Ditto…it might be a Celtic thing. For me, once you cross a certain line you're out of my life permanently, there's no turning back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis