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Thor: The Dark World - Christopher Eccleston interview

Thor: The Dark World

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CHRISTOPHER Eccleston talks about playing the dark elf Malekith in Thor: The Dark World and what his motivations as a character were. He was speaking at a UK press conference for the movie.

Q. The Marvel universe is getting more fantastic and more out there, so I was wondering how the actors grounded some of that to make it more palatable while staying true to the characters?
Christopher Eccleston: How did I grind my performance out? [Laughs] It is interesting talking about the humour in the film… I saw it last week and I was really surprised by the amount of humour in it as I am such a miserable bastard [in it] and was completely excluded from any of the joy. My character was completely grounded in vengeance – he was like a maniac for revenge.

The idea, from Alan and Kevin, was to suggest that the Dark Elves were as ancient a race as the Asgardians and had a history, which is why we gave them a language and they had a culture. However, most of all they had a grudge that they had slept on for millions of years. What’s interesting about the film is that it does have a variety of tones. The job of myself and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays Algrim and Kurse, was to bring the threat
and the menace and the jeopardy. So, we grounded it in bitterness. My make-up call was about 3am. I was in the chair at 4am and I hit the set about 10am, so I wasn’t a happy elf!

Q. Malekith is the protagonist, so what is really the dynamic with him? What’s the point of that storyline?
Christopher Eccleston:* What is the point of my story? That’s what I said to my agent [laughs]. The point of my storyline is for me to get paid [draws round of applause]. I feel I’m repeating myself slightly but the point of my storyline is vengeance. He is a maniac for vengeance. There were some scenes which, for understandable reasons, didn’t make the final cut that explained a bit of a back story between me, my ancestors and Odin’s father. But basically The Dark Elves, before the big bang, centuries and centuries ago, were humiliated in defeat and ground into the dirt by Odin. And Malekith has slept on that. The theme of that is vengeance, really, and as somebody once said: “Let he who seeks vengeance be careful to dig two graves because it’s a pointless exercise.” So, my job was to bring a dark element. The Dark Elves are seeking to turn light into darkness.

Read our review

Kevin Feige and Alan Taylor interview