Interview: Cast of Thor goes virtual in Sega’s God of Thunder adaptation

Thor God of Thunder

The summer of superheroes is upon us, as Marvel Entertainment unleashes Thor followed by X-Men: First Class, and Captain America: The First Avenger. DC Entertainment has Green Lantern and his powerful ring ready for action. And Conan the Barbarian rides off the comic book pages in August. For gamers, there are interactive versions of most of these films coming in tandem with the movie experiences.

The actors who brought the summer’s first superhero movie, Thor, to life in 3D, were able to check out the new Xbox 360 version of Sega’s Thor: God of Thunder. Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the new movie and is currently reprising the role in the now-shooting Avengers, got a kick out of seeing himself in his first video game.

Thor Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth

“That was hilarious,” said Hemsworth. “I’d seen action figures and Dr. Pepper cans and things and gone, ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool,’ and then the video game was like, ‘Whoa!’ This is a whole different thing. I didn’t play a lot of it. I only got a chance backstage there for a bit but it was great.”

Jaimie Alexander plays the warrior goddess Sif in Thor. She was so excited about jumping into the video game that she told Sega she’d do it for free. Of course, that wasn’t necessary, but being a gamer, she was all for being digitized for the new game.

“I remember I got a call to do the voice for Sif in the videogame, and they said because my voice is very unique and it was going to be very hard to match,” recalled Alexander. “I was like, ‘Dude, don’t even ask anybody else. I want to do it.’ So I went in and it was just so much fun because I actually probably had more dialog in the video game than I do in the movie. I remember having to do my accent again and I was like, ‘Oh man, I hope I do this justice.’”

Alexander saw the game’s trailer and said it was “rad.” But since the game takes place in an alternate story from the film, she said not to worry about her on-screen character.

“The trailer had the ice pick right through the stomach and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ But yeah, that made everybody think that I die in the movie,” said Alexander. “I was like, let’s keep them guessing. It’s all good.”

Actor Tom Hiddleston pulls double duty in Sega’s game. He serves as the game’s narrator, and also voices lines for Loki, Thor’s jealous brother. His first video game voice acting experience was, well, short.

“That was amazing,” said Hiddleston. “It was so quick actually, much quicker than filming obviously. But there’s something about voice acting where you’re having to work so much harder because what’s normally conveyed through your face and your body and your eyes is actually only conveyed through your voice.”

Hiddleston watched Hemsworth and a friend play Thor on Xbox 360.

Tom Hiddleston Thor
Tom Hiddleston

“I just saw it for the first time this morning actually,” said Hiddleston. “There’s a huge prologue that I say in the very beginning of the game, which I’d forgotten I’d recorded and I was like, ‘That’s pretty awesome.’

While Hemsworth and Hiddleston battle it out on the big screen in Thor, as well as The Avengers next summer, they share a fond memory of gaming back on the Super Nintendo.

“My brothers and I played Nintendo all the time when we were younger,” said Hemsworth. We played Mega man, Donkey Kong, the Mario Bros. games, all of those kinds of games.”

“Super Mario Kart was my favorite video game,” said Hiddleston. “I sort of stopped gaming at quite a young age, but I got a lot of pleasure from two-player mode on the Super Nintendo playing Mario kart. That was epic.”

Alexander still plays Mario Kart on her Super Nintendo, which has been her favorite game since she was a kid.

Kat Dennings, who plays Darcy in Thor, still plays games like Katamari Damacy and Wii Mario Kart. But here favorite gaming memory dates back to a big digital ape.

“My brother had this mini Donkey Kong arcade game and we have a cute baby picture of me…I think I’m about one, and I’m just hunched over his Donkey Kong thing and he’s behind me giving me a kiss and showing me how to play it,” said Dennings. “It’s so cute. It’s my favorite picture.”

Even though she’s not in the game, Dennings took time to check out the action adventure title. When told the game was stereo 3D like the movie, she thought that was the “coolest thing ever.”

Although both Hemsworth and Hiddleston went straight back to Albuquerque, New Mexico for The Avengers, they both are open to giving video games another try — at least the Thor game.

“If I have the time,” said Hemsworth. “I could be there and kind of playing my own video game and become narcissistic.”

Jaimie Alexander Thor
Jaimie Alexander

“I have to try the different versions of the game because the PS3 and Xbox games are different from the Wii game,” said Hiddleston.

Alexander believes what game developers are doing today is incredible, but she’s worried about the impact game technology may have on her career.

“Pretty soon I feel like they’re not going to need us in films; they’re just going to digitally do it,” said Alexander. “Because games are so realistic now. I watched the creation of this video game and I see Sid and it’s me. She has my mannerisms and everything. And how you do that in a video game is beyond my comprehension.”

While there’s plenty of Thor available now in movie and game form, more is coming. This fall, Sega will release the Nintendo 3DS Thor: God of Thunder game in tandem with Paramount Home Entertainment’s Thor Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release. Next summer, Thor and Loki return to the big screen in Joss Whedon’s big movie. And there are two Thor sequels planned and two more Avengers movies. That opens up a lot of video game opportunities for the Norse god and his companions moving forward.