Tessa Thompson made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the newly-released Thor: Ragnarok, and it sounds like she went above and beyond to prepare for it.
"I gained about 15 pounds of muscle mass," Thompson shared, "which yeah, it was a lot for me."
According to the actress, this spawned from her desire to show a different kind of female action hero, as well as feel more physically comfortable in the role.
"I like sort of bucking this conventional idea of a woman is beautiful or sexy if she’s sort of thin." Thompson explained. "She’s felt, but you can’t really see her strength. I like the idea that she can just be ripped, like Valkyrie is in the comics. Yeah, I found that sort of essential, that not really caring about how I looked, but caring more about how I felt. I felt so strong, and in my skin."
For Thompson, that sort of confidence ended up manifesting both on and offscreen, which she was very proud of.
"It felt great!" Thompson revealed. "Yeah, it felt great. Particularly for the five months that I was there, and I was working on the stage where did all the stunt choreography and the likes of folks like Chris Hemsworth. It felt good to be able to be on par with everyone around me."
But Thompson apparently didn't add one thing to her training regimen - eating a ton of chicken, which Hemsworth has been known to do in the past.
"I certainly tried, but I couldn't, actually." Thompson joked. "I gave it a good effort."
Judging by the response to Ragnarok, and to Thompson's portrayal of Valkyrie, that hard work seems to have paid off. The film has earned $120 million at the box office so far in its opening weekend. It also debuted with an impressive score on Rotten Tomatoes, Cinemascore, and the Comicbook Composite Ratings.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.