The big picture
- Casting director Sarah Halley Finn reveals that reputation doesn’t matter to Marvel when it comes to choosing actors for roles in the MCU.
- The audition and screen test process is crucial to the casting decision and includes scene readings, chemistry tests, and even costume or set evaluations.
- Although Alexander Skarsgård is a leading candidate, he is known for his role in True bloodwasn’t what Marvel wanted for Thor, and Chris Hemsworth ultimately got the role after a second audition.
A new book entitled MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios from Joanna Robinson, Dave GonzalesAnd Gavin Edwardswill take readers into the making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reveal some lesser-known secrets of the last two decades, as Marvel grew from a niche comic book company into a multimedia and entertainment conglomerate that would conquer the global box office and Hollywood itself. In an excerpt from the new book, published by Vanity FairCasting director Sarah Halley Finn discussed the work it takes to find the right people for the right role and figure out who missed out along the way.
The role of Thor, the cocky and sometimes arrogant son of Odin, Prince of Asgard and God of Thunder, based on a Norse legend, was highly sought after and of course eventually accepted Chris Hemsworth, but one of the leading candidates was a real Scandinavian True blood Star, Alexander Skarsgard. Skarsgård’s character Eric Northman is a prominent vampire and one of the series’ central characters.
His performance on the show earned him widespread recognition and helped establish him as a prominent actor in both the television and film industries at the time. Skarsgård’s Scandinavian heritage – he’s Swedish – along with his natural blonde hair and massive frame made him the ideal candidate for the role. At the time of Thor‘s production, True blood was one of the most popular shows on cable television and the Swede had the profile and stature that Marvel was looking for. His father, Stellan Skarsgardwas also poured Thor in the role of the renowned physicist Dr. Erik Selvig.
For Marvel, reputation doesn’t matter
However, Finn always insisted that the audition and the screen test were just as important to them. When it came to choosing an actor for a role, Finn usually arranged auditions with the best candidates. These castings included a modest camera crew, key Marvel Studios producers, and, whenever possible, the director of the film in question.
The initial phase typically involved a scene reading, commonly referred to in the industry as “pages.” This reading could take place either in person or, for actors not based in Los Angeles, through recorded auditions. Subsequent rounds of auditions might include new sides intended to show different facets of the character, pairing one actor with another to assess chemistry, and even testing costumes or set designs to assess how naturally the performer fits into the superhero world inserts. Skarsgård may have looked the part, but he wasn’t what Marvel wanted for Thor.
Hemsworth initially failed to get through the first round of auditions, while his brother Liam Hemsworth had successfully made it to the second round after auditioning once with a Pepper Potts wig. Spurred on by the shame that his younger brother had done better than him, he earned a second audition, and when his mother read Odin’s lines alongside him, Marvel was won over.
Kenneth Branagh, the film’s director, added: “When he came to a screen test and told a story of Thor’s exploits. He did it with so much pleasure, so much fun and a sense of danger. He managed to take on the role of Thor.” a path that seemed just right to us.” In May 2009, Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were cast as Thor and Loki. And the rest is history.
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios will be released on October 10th.