Eternals Star Angelina Jolie Admits She Felt 'A Little Nuts' Training for Marvel Role

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Eternals, Angelina Jolie, Thena

While the MCU has been going strong all year thanks to Disney+ series like WandaVision, Loki, and What If...?, the focus is now shifting to the big screen where Marvel Studios' Phase 4 theatrical slate has only just begun.

Now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is confirmed for a September 3 release, the studio's next big film on the horizon is the somewhat mysterious Eternals.

Helmed by Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao, Eternals tells the story of ancient, humanoid aliens tasked with defending humanity from the Deviants and features an ensemble cast of Hollywood heavy-hitters like Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, and Angelina Jolie.

Now, one of those A-list actors has spoken about their training regime to prepare for the epic film. 


Angelina Jolie Eternals

In speaking with Entertainment Weekly about Marvel's Eternals, Angelina Jolie admitted that "It's certainly the biggest thing I've ever done:"

"It's certainly the biggest thing I've ever done. As somebody who's directed, to watch the production try to manage it, it was a huge thing to take on."

Jolie plays Thena in Eternals, a warrior who can create a variety of weapons out of thin air with elegance. 

To prepare for the role, Jolie took ballet and had to learn to use a vast number of weapons - even though the weapons themselves weren't there but added in post-production. 

In previous interviews, Jolie touched on Zhao's direction for her to "reveal" herself as the character. However, the physical aspects of Jolie's performance apparently required a different type of effort.

While the actress compared the process of performing those action sequences to "a puzzle," she also admitted that it made her feel "a little nuts" since she didn't know exactly what she was doing while doing it:

"It is one of the weirdest things to train for because you're throwing things, grabbing things, breaking things in half. You feel a little nuts. You're just throwing your hand out as if you're thinking, 'Is that a sword? Is that a spear? Is it a lasso? What am I doing?' Then you get into it and it gets really fun, but it's a puzzle."


Marvel's action sequences are part of its brand, but what sets the studio apart is that it's always finding ways to bring something new to the table.

As Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings looks to bring martial arts into the MCU, Eternals looks to introduce a mystical, ancient style of combat.

While that alone is challenging enough, as Jolie explained, another Marvel Studios signature is that every hero has their own style that reflects their character. 

Even though Jolie may have felt strange pulling non-existent weapons out of thin air, that kind of power, ingenuity, and grace tells fans a little about who Thena will be in the upcoming film. 

In addition, fans have seen a few shots of Jolie's Thena in action in the early teasers for Eternals and now in the film's latest full-length trailer. If it wasn't abundantly clear already, Marvel fans and the MCU haven't seen anything like this group of MCU heroes and their abilities before. 

Marvel's Eternals is set to release on November 5, 2021. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.