Tessa Thompson is on the cover of the December issue of ELLE Canada, looking flawless as usual. LOVE the slicked, wet hair look, LOVE the earrings, the dress and the makeup. I’m just generally obsessed with everything about her. The cover is timed with the release of Thor: Ragnorak. There are a lot of reasons to be excited for Thor: Ragnorak – Thor’s glow-up, Cate Blanchett as Hela (the Miranda Priestley of Marvel villains) and getting a glimpse inside the weird and whimsical mind of Taika Waititi but I’m telling you, the most exciting thing about this movie is Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie.
In the ELLE Canada feature, Tessa talks about her reluctance to take on a role like Valkyrie, a character who was blond and blue-eyed in the comic books, because she never dared to dream to play a superhero.
“I haven’t seen a lot of ‘me’s’ in films like that,” she says. “You have to see it to think you can be it; I just never thought about doing a movie where I wear a cape.”
She dreamed of Broadway not blockbusters, but reading this, it seems like her reluctance was less snobbery and more self-preservation. She wanted to do “projects that serve a cultural conversation, that feel essential.” A quirky action comedy in space like Thor: Ragnorak may not seem like an essential project that serves the cultural conversation but Tessa Thompson is the only black female superhero in the current MCU. Her version of Valkyrie is strong and badass, yes, but she’s also complicated, enigmatic, quick-witted and a bit tipsy, things women on screen in these movies typically don’t get to be. She’s also not there just to be Thor’s post-Jane rebound. Tessa Thompson in this role IS essential and I can’t wait for everyone, especially my niece, to see her charm the sh-t out of every scene.
My favourite anecdote in the piece is when Tessa goes off on The Little Mermaid to make a point about the kind of heroines we grew up watching.
“I’m realizing some of the messaging women internalize, even as girls,” she says. “Like The Little Mermaid—I loved that when I was a kid; I watched it incessantly. But then you look at that story, and you see she gives up her whole life, her voice, to have a vagina and be with this guy she’s enamoured with. To be normal! What’s normal?”
YES. I rant about The Little Mermaid often. The writer notes that Tessa laughs through this bit but I’m still worried about her mentions because one time, I slightly hinted that I thought Ariel basically invented the “For the D-ck” challenge when she gave up her voice for the D and I got SO MANY angry emails from all of you The Little Mermaid stans yelling at me about Ariel’s feminist right to choose. Tessa, I got your back when they come for you, girl.
We’ve had a crush on Tessa Thompson for years here at LaineyGossip. She’s been on the cusp for a while. I remember walking out of Dear White People giddy over Tessa's potential. She was already my imaginary best friend going into Creed and after that film and this GIF…
…my Tessa Thompson standom reached new levels. Now that she’s the star of a record-breaking blockbuster who covers magazines and gives thoughtful, intelligent interviews, it’s time for everyone else to develop a Tessa Thompson problem. It’s about f-cking time.
Click here to read the rest of Tessa Thompson’s sit-down with ELLE Canada.