Marvel's Eternals: Angelina Jolie Reveals How Her Own Family Prepared Her For MCU Movie

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Angelina Jolie as Thena, Marvel Studios logo

Eternals is set to be the third film of the massive Phase 4 slate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it will be a unique entry since it will revolve around a group of cosmic immortals who were around throughout the franchise's storied history. 

Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film features a stellar cast who will make their MCU debuts, and one of them is Angelina Jolie. The actress will portray Thena, a powerful Eternal and an experienced warrior. 

The first footage of Eternals was showcased in Marvel's Phase 4 sizzle reel, and a major part of it was Thena's sword-wielding prowess. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but it seems that Jolie's MCU character will serve as a pivotal figure in the Eternals' battle against the dangerous Deviants. This is solely based on the character's history from the pages of Marvel Comics. 

Now, ahead of the rumored trailer release of the film, Jolie opened up about her preparations while shooting Eternals


Eternals Angelina Jolie
Marvel Studios

Eternals star Angelina Jolie sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about her upcoming role in the Phase 4 film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The veteran actress first discussed the directing prowess of Chloe Zhao, sharing that she "really felt like she was pulling out of us something that was more personal" when shooting the Marvel film.

Jolie also mentioned that the Academy Award-winning director was trying to "reveal" themselves as their respective characters: 

"I don't think we realized that until we really got there. It really felt like she was pulling out of us something that was more personal, from a deeper side of ourselves. She wasn't looking to put something on top of us, like a character. She was looking for us to reveal ourselves as the character."

Jolie then revealed that she found herself drawn to Zhao's pitch about a group of immortals finding each other time and time again over the years, admitting that "it felt familiar" because she has a "slightly unconventional family" in the real world: 

"I just wanted to be a part of this family. I have a slightly unconventional family myself, so it felt familiar."

In the report, EW described Thena as an elite warrior who can create different weapons out of thin air, sharing that Jolie practiced with various swords, spears, and staffs as well as going through ballet training for the film. 

Jolie concluded by saying that there was a feeling of "support" when she was standing on set with the rest of the Eternals together: 

"Standing there next to each other, the first time we all stood in our suits together and took off our secrecy cloaks and had to stand there for the shot, what you felt was just a lot of support. We were smiling at each other, and there was just a lot of kindness."


For context, Angelina Jolie has six children, and three of them are adopted. In addition, Jolie is currently in the midst of a custody battle with her ex, Brad Pitt. That said, the actress' admission that the family aspect of Eternals "felt familiar" makes sense, and this could hint that her transition to the role was easy. 

Given that Eternals will showcase an unusual group of heroes who tend to reunite over the years, it's possible that Jolie's Thena will likely serve as one of the members that will hold them together.

Angeline Jolie's Thena, Richard Madden's Ikaris, Gemma Chan's Sersi
Marvel Studios

The tail-end of the first trailer for Eternals already teased that a mini-reunion will happen led by Gilgamesh, a character that is heavily rumored to have a "de facto" partnership with Thena in the film. There's a strong chance that Thena is the one who organized the get-together, seemingly hinting that the gathering could set up the team's eventual showdown with the Deviants.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige previously revealed that Chloe Zhao's pitch for Eternals was the best he'd ever heard, and Jolie's latest comments further amplified this claim.

From fighting for specific locations to her desire to "investigate" the cosmic aspect of Eternals, Zhao's vision and directing style has been well-documented in the past months, and the fact that Jolie is on board with it (as evidenced by her remarks) should generate more hype for the film. 

Jolie's reveal about the money shot of the Eternals standing together in complete costume could hint that it was the first time that the suits were showcased in front of the ensemble cast. This goes to show that the cast smiling at each other is a genuine reaction, and it will be interesting to find out how the audience will react to this moment when the film arrives.

Eternals is set to premiere in theaters on November 5, 2021. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.