Thor: Love and Thunder may have given Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster a God-sized upgrade, but it also introduced another big-time player from the comics: Hercules (Brett Goldstein). The character was first showcased in the final moments of the film as he’s given orders by his father Zeus to track down and kill Thor.
So who’s grand idea was it to cast the Ted Lasso star as the iconic Greek Avenger? Well, that’s thanks to none other than Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. In fact, Love and Thunder Director Taika Waiti didn’t even know who the character was.
At the very least, Goldstein seems excited to play Hercules and for whatever his future as the Greek Demigod has in store for him. Though, if a new quote from the actor is anything to go by, hopefully, Marvel will give him some more time to train.
Hercules Needed More Training
Goldstein noted how the request was “literally out of the blue one night” and that, at first, he didn’t believe it:
“No, I didn’t know what it was for. I was told that some Marvel people would like to have a Zoom with you, and I met with them, and it was just so surreal because…it was literally out of the blue one night, and I was very busy, and it was like, ‘Can you make time for a Zoom?’ ‘Yes, sure.’ And they go on Zoom, and they just told me what you see in the film, which is the sort of opened with, ‘So Russell Crowe is Zeus,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK, go on.’ And blah, blah, blah. And then they turn around, and they reveal, ‘It’s Hercules; it’s you.’ And I went, ‘What?’ Just like, ‘Are you serious? Are you f**king with me? Is this a wind-up?’ So yeah, it was as surprising to me as I think it has been to other people.”
He continued, revealing that he had to shoot roughly “two weeks” later, which didn’t feel like enough time—leading him to ask if he had to be “as big as Thor:”
“…when I spoke to Taika, I said, ‘You know I’m basically like a skinny comedian?’ I said, ‘When is this filming?’ It was like in two weeks, and I was like, ‘I mean, I’ll do my best, but two weeks feels …’ I said, ‘He doesn’t have to be as big as Thor, does he?’ And look, on the day, I mean, I’m doing 400 pushups that day. I was fit to explode. I did the best I could on that day, yeah."
Goldstein admitted that he “was surprised and delighted… to get a real positive response” and that he’ll now have “to eat 30 chickens a day from now on” to remain in shape:
“It would be a real bummer if people weren’t interested. Of course, I care. I have to say I was surprised and delighted, as in it seemed to get a real positive response. And that, it’s amazing. I just, I’m not in charge of what they’re doing or what they want to do. And in a way, that was an experience that I hadn’t had for a long time, where I had no involvement in the behind-the-scenes of it. Look, you’re in f**king good hands. They make really good shit. You know what I mean? And Taika Waititi’s fucking brilliant, so it was like, ‘I’m in the best hands possible.’ But, it’s amazing. Who knows if anything will come of it, who knows, but it was a fun thing to do, and I’m pleased that people seem to have enjoyed it… I’m going to eat 30 chickens a day from now on; it will be fine.”
Goldstein Better Start Now
It’s not all too surprising to hear that Marvel Studios only gave Goldstein two weeks to train as Hercules. These post-credits scenes tend to often be very last-minute choices.
One of the classic examples of this, though clearly an outlier, is how the now iconic Avengers shawarma scene was filmed at the film’s Red Carpet Premiere.
Really, it’s a miracle that Marvel was able to get the actor to come out with such short notice at all. As he mentioned, he’s a busy man—though, it’s understandable to want to make room in one’s schedule for the MCU.
While the character’s future is unknown, the actor will certainly have more time to train by the next time he’s called back into the studio. But the real question remains: is it even possible to match Chris Hemsworth’s physique in any circumstances?
Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters worldwide.