It’s not exactly hard to see why the Men In Black franchise would bring aboard Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as the new leads of the brand. Not only are they both wonderfully talented and immensely popular, but they have also proven to have fantastic chemistry together, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. Given all these factors, it makes every kind of sense that they would be cast as the stars of Men In Black International – but what adds an interesting wrinkle to the situation is the fact that Thompson and Hemsworth each had their own specific reasons for jumping into the world.
Earlier this month I had the incredible opportunity to fly to London, England to cover the global press day for Men In Black International, and it was while sitting down with Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth that I learned of their interesting individual paths that led to being a part of the movie. You can watch their responses by clicking play on the video below:
While speaking with producers Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes at the Men In Black International junket, I had learned that it was the character of Molly a.k.a. Agent M that inspired the return of the Men In Black franchise – so it’s only fitting that part of where Tessa Thompson’s enthusiasm for the project came from simply being a fan. Discussing why it was a film she wanted to be a part of, she acknowledged her appreciation of science-fiction that can be grounded in reality, and explained how M really fit the bill for her:
I am such a fan of the original movies; I love the world that they take place in, which is the real world. It's science fiction, but it's set inside of a world that we know and understand. This idea that the world is maybe not exactly what it seems - I love that. And to play this woman who had an experience as a young child, it has made her ever curious about the universe, and feeling like there's some secret that she's been let in on, and that changes her trajectory in her life.
Continuing, Thompson made a note that Agent M possesses an important personality quality that made her feel legitimately connected to the character was her inquisitiveness. Her drive in life is knowing more about the secrets of the universe, and that kind of enthusiasm was not taken for granted by the actress when preparing for her performance. She explained,
My least favorite thing is an incurious person. So I loved getting to play someone like M who is ever curious.
Tessa Thompson also acknowledged the influence of simply getting to reunite with Chris Hemsworth, with whom she gets to have a very different kind of adventure than what we’ve seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a sentiment shared by Hemsworth as well, but he also added how being a part of Men In Black International was part of a career turn for him.
In the past, Chris Hemsworth has been rather open about some of the more disappointing projects he’s taken on – like Thor: The Dark World and The Huntsman: Winter’s War – and along similar lines he was very open during my interview admitting that some of the films he did in the past just didn’t make for satisfying experiences. This one, however, was one he did because of love for the material and love for his collaborators, and it made for a much better time on set. Said the actor,
When I first read the script, and who was involved, and Tessa and [F. Gary Gray] and so on, I thought, 'This is the reason I love this job.’ I've done things over the years that I've justified, 'Oh, this is good for this and this reason,' but ultimately didn't have a great time. And the older I get it needs to be an enjoyable process. It felt unique to the original films aesthetically, where we shot all over the world, and with very different characters to what was there before - but still staying true and hitting all the boxes that people loved and appreciated from the originals. We had a blast.
Audiences will get their chance to see the fruit of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth’s labor this weekend, as Men In Black International is hitting theaters across the country. It’s expected to take the number one spot at the box office, so go check it out, and then head back here to CinemaBlend for a whole lot more of our coverage!