Of Course Natalie Portman And Chris Hemsworth Trained Together For Thor: Love And Thunder (But It’s Not As Cute As It Sounds)

Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Natalie Portman returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, but the astrophysicist looked a bit different this time around. In the movie, Foster gains the ability to wield Mjolnir and in the process, becomes the Mighty Thor. With that, Portman needed to get into tip-top shape and did so in tremendous fashion. (I’m still thinking about those incredible-looking arms she had.) Her impressive muscles weren’t built over night, though, as you’d expect. Of course, she did some strenuous training alongside co-star Chris Hemsworth, but the idea of the two co-stars pumping iron together isn’t as cute as it sounds. 

It would seem that both stars went all in when it came to getting ready for their latest MCU outing. Natalie Portman’s trainer, Naomi Pendergast, opened up about the star’s prep and how it overlapped with that of her colleague. Per Pendergast, Portman trained for a total of 10 months, with their work beginning in earnest four months before filming began. While detailing the various aspects of the Oscar winner’s training regimen, the fitness expert explained that Portman and Hemsworth occasionally train at the same time, but neither did too much talking:

Natalie and Chris did do some of their sessions at the same time but they did not work out together. There was a little bit of gym banter, but mostly everyone was focused on getting their workout done and done well.

And said workout sounds like it was hardcore. Naomi Pendergast also explained to Us Weekly that in order to get those massive arms, the actress would do banded pull ups (4 sets of 12 reps) and dumbbell straight arm lateral raises (4 sets of 25 reps). And after resting for about 90 seconds, she would segue into straight arm raises with palms up (4 sets of 20 reps) before finishing with the dreaded reverse plank (4 sets for 1 minute each). The star herself previously spoke about getting into superhero shape alongside Chris Hemsworth and detailed some of the other finer points of her training. Anyone else sweating just thinking about all of this?

The work paid off, though, and fans definitely took notice when set photos revealed just how ripped Natalie Portman had gotten for her turn as a superhero. Her physique aside, her performance in Love and Thunder was also incredibly sweet, and it was fun to see how the return of Portman’s Foster really messed with Thor

With the mostly glowing reception to scientist’s return and her role as the Mighty Thor, you have to wonder what Natalie Portman’s future in the MCU might be. Nothing may be confirmed on that front right now but, at this point, it feels like anything is possible in this massive superhero franchise. And should the actress get the chance to don Mjolnir on screen once more, I’m sure Portman will be ready to jump back into the gym for some more hardcore training. 

Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters, while the first three installments (along with other Marvel movies) are available to stream with a Disney+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.