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Tessa Thompson Talks Valkyrie’s Relationship Status And Why Getting To Play A Bisexual Character In The MCU Has Been Really Meaningful

Valkyrie sitting in Thor: Love and Thunder
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a wild one so far, with the universe expanding thanks to projects on the small and silver screens. The latest movie hitting theaters was Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which has been doing great at the box office. The blockbuster marked Tessa Thompson’s return as Valkyrie, and the actress recently spoke to her character’s relationship status, and why getting to play a bisexual character in the MCU has been really meaningful.

Since debuting in Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson has been open about how she’s playing Valkyrie as a bisexual woman. While a scene hinting at this was deleted from that previous blockbuster, Love and Thunder featured notable queer moments for both her and (surprisingly) Korg. While some fans wanted to see Val find her Queen of New Asgard, Thompson spoke about the hero’s relationship status to Variety, offering: 

She did give that maiden a kiss on the hand. You know, she’s flirty. She’s out in the world. She’s ready for love. She’s definitely single and ready to mingle, but she also, I think, when the time is right. And I think in terms of the representation that we talk about in the MCU, I think a part of really being able to normalize queer characters, LBGTQIA characters, is to allow them to exist in their humanity. And that doesn’t always mean that they’re in love or in a partnership because plenty of us know that sometimes you’re not. So, yeah, we’ll see if she finds love.

There you have it. While Tessa Thompson previously spoke about Valkyrie getting her queen, her romantic partnership (or lack thereof) is just one aspect of the Asgardian hero. And for the purpose of Thor: Love and Thunder, the story didn’t require Thompson’s signature character to actually fall in love herself. Instead, she settled for some light flirting and trying to make it out of the conflict with Christian Bale’s Gorr alive.

Given the massive popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s been a ton of conversation lately about the importance of representation. And Phase Four has certainly taken more steps forward, with more stories focusing on underrepresented groups like women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and the disabled community. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is part of that conversation, recently speaking about being touched by the love that’s come her way from young queer people out there. As she put it,

That’s been tremendous. I’ve had so many folks write me and say that they were able to come out or to talk to their family, which is a dream.

While superhero movies might be a fun day at the theater, there are clearly some real-world implications from a franchise so popular. Tessa Thompson speaking openly about both her own sexuality and Valkyrie’s over the years, and being so visible, has clearly helped inspire audience members to be their most authentic selves. 

Tessa Thompson spoke about the importance of authenticity in her work and life later in that same interview. As a self-identifying queer woman herself, she feels “lucky” to be able to work as an actress with people who love and support her. Thompson shared:

I feel really lucky in the sense that I work in real close proximity to people that I think want to advocate for me to be myself and be the fullest expression of myself. I think the industry at large might put a tremendous amount of pressure, never mind their sexuality, but a real pressure, I think, to be a certain kind of thing. And I think that’s intensified particularly where sexual orientation is concerned and that’s a real problem. And it’s still a problem that I know friends of mine, dear friends of mine, have been deeply affected by. I think we have a tremendous amount of work to do, but I feel really lucky to exist inside of a space, both in my professional space and my personal space and familial space, where I feel really loved and supported for who I am. And I know that is a privilege that not a lot of people share. So to those folks that don’t have those spaces, I see them.

What a class act. While speaking about how lucky she is in her career, Tessa Thompson also acknowledged that so many LGBTQ+ folks out there aren’t quite as lucky. And so she wants anyone out there struggling to know that she sees and values them. Looks like Valkyrie is a hero IRL.

Thor: Love and Thunder is currently in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.