The Thor franchise employs some insanely bizarre visual effects, and that idea will go to the next level with the upcoming release of Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. Of all the VFX set to appear in the upcoming threequel, one of the most interesting of the bunch is the complex CGI outfit worn by Cate Blanchett's Hela. However, Blanchett's stuntwoman Zoe Bell opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets about preparing her movement for the CGI attire during a set visit last year, and it sounds like it created more work than a standard stunt job because she had to remain mindful of the added VFX features. Bell explained:
Yeah, it has been a bit of a consideration for us in terms of our movements and stuff but then it also is because it's been so collaborative between the departments there's also an element of like 'you guys should just do whatever it is you do and we can, you know, it's like I'll work around.' It's my job to work around Cate to make Hela look as amazing as I can add. Whatever I can add, I can add and then it's their job to work around what they have in the physical world to embellish on it and make it look amazing. So we did start off at times trying to work off fight beats where it didn't cross over where the headdress might be but then it gets a bit like we don't know if maybe it moves or not.
Unlike the more straightforward stunt work and choreography witnessed in films like John Wick (or even Marvel's own Captain America films), Thor: Ragnarok's creation of Hela inherently requires a notable amount of VFX. As a result, while Zoe Bell (a veteran with credits on films like Death Proof and Django Unchained) and Cate Blanchett had the luxury of wearing minimalist jumpsuits while filming, they also had to consistently remain mindful of the various aspects of the costume that would eventually enter the equation in post-production. As a result, this required considerably more coordination between departments to make sure that everything went off without a hitch.
However, with the extra work, the CGI costume also came with an added layer of freedom. Zoe Bell elaborated further and explained that there was a lack of "hard and fast" preconceptions about what Hela's costume or weapons would look like, thus allowing them to tinker and try specific movements that might not be possible if she had been handed a practical prop. Bell and Blanchett had to keep the basic dimensions of the costume and headdress in the back of their minds, but they also had more free reign to experiment with weapons and objects that the character can summon at will.
For a closer look, take a glance at a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok below to see how Cate Blanchett's bizarre headdress appears in the finalized version of the film.