Thor: Love And Thunder’s Brett Goldstein On Landing His Major MCU Role And The Short Amount Of Time He Had To Prepare

Brett Goldstein on Ted Lasso
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Marvel Studios just seems to keep snatching up actors left and right and, as a result, its stable of talent has grown exponentially over the years. And through the latest big-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, Thor: Love and Thunder, the company picked up a true heavy hitter in Brett Goldstein. The Ted Lasso star appeared as new MCU character Hercules during Love and Thunder’s end credits scene, and it would seem that there’s much more to be said about his character moving forward. Of course, like other Marvel alums, Goldstein had to go through an interesting casting process, and he had to do some serious last-minute prep to get ready for work.

The casting process for a Marvel production can be quite “unique” compared to the way in which it works for other films or TV shows. In the age of COVID, it usually starts out with a general video meeting of sorts, which can be pretty cryptic. In many cases, an actor doesn’t even know what role they’re being courted for until they’ve officially agreed to sign on. Brett Goldstein had a pretty “surreal” experience when Kevin Feige and co. came knocking, and I can’t even imagine how I would’ve reacted had I been in his position: 

No, I didn’t know what it was for. I was told that some Marvel people would like to have a Zoom with you, and I met with them and it was just so surreal because…it was literally out of the blue one night and I was very busy and it was like, ‘Can you make time for a Zoom?’ ‘Yes, sure.’ And they go on Zoom and they just told me what you see in the film, which is they sort of opened with, ‘So Russell Crowe is Zeus,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK, go on.’ And blah, blah, blah. And then they turn around and they reveal ‘It’s Hercules; it’s you.’ And I went, ‘What?’ Just like, “Are you serious? Are you fucking with me? Is this a wind-up?’ So yeah, it was as surprising to me as I think it has been to other people.

Hearing that you’re going to be playing opposite Russell Crowe (who’ll be in a Zeus costume) is one thing, but learning that you’ll be playing Hercules is a whole other thing. Though the 42-year-old was shocked by the offer, he clearly knew that he couldn’t turn it down. And I’m glad that he didn’t, because he’s a great casting pick for the fan favorite comic book character.

Of course, if you’re going to play an Olympian, then you need to make sure that your physique is on point. Brett Goldstein seems to be in tip-top shape, but he still needed to put in some serious work ahead of his MCU debut. The actor went on to tell The Playlist that he only had weeks to prepare and, on the day of the shoot, he did something quite extraordinary: 

Yeah, when I spoke to Taika, I said, ‘You know I’m basically like a skinny comedian?’ I said, ‘When is this filming?’ It was like in two weeks, and I was like, “I mean, I’ll do my best, but two weeks feels …’ I said, ‘He doesn’t have to be as big as Thor, does he?’ And look, on the day, I mean, I’m doing 400 pushups that day. I was fit to explode. I did the best I could on that day, yeah.

I applaud his effort, because I don’t think I’d have had the heart for it. (Then again, if I were being paid millions of dollars, I probably would’ve found the spirit to push through.) And he’s far from the first funnyman to bulk up for a Marvel role. Kumail Nanjiani packed on serious muscle for his role as Kingo in Eternals, and he’s since managed to maintain it. Brett Goldstein may seek to do the same for his role as the mythological Greek hero.

Hercules’ future in the MCU seems bright, and I’m excited to see Brett Goldstein really sink his teeth into the role. That post-credits scene suggests that Herc may start as a bit of an antagonist for the heroes of earth. But in time, Goldstein’s character could just find himself joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (which happened in the comics). So yeah, I think the actor’s probably happy that he accepted that video meeting.

Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters and will be available to stream with a Disney+ subscription starting on September 8th. Be sure to keep up to date with upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows, so you’ll know when Hercules shows up in the MCU next.

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.