Over the course of its 15-year history, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has cast no shortage of onscreen legends to bring some of its most memorable characters to life. In fact, one such A-lister, Angela Bassett, recently made history by becoming the first Marvel performer to receive an Oscar nomination thanks to her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Unfortunately, other performers found it hard to showcase the full extent of their acting abilities in certain MCU installments. This includes Anthony Hopkins, who played the title character’s father in Marvel’s first three Thor films. And while speaking with The New Yorker, Bassett compared Hopkins’ MCU experience to her own.
Hopkins previously reflected on his time in the MCU while sitting down for his own New Yorker profile in 2021. He specifically addressed the idea of acting in front of a green screen, which he said was “pointless.” But even though both Black Panther films relied on similar technology — they’re still Marvel movies, after all — they were also able to use more practical sets, which Bassett thinks is why she had a more positive experience than Hopkins did.
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“The throne room was there, the floor of red clay, the elevation with the Dora Milaje flanking around, the grand doors that they walk through,” said Bassett. “So maybe you don’t see the world of Wakanda, but we had that. When Shuri and I went out into the wild, we had trees and bushes and water for yards and yards and yards, and Namor came up out of the water and flew to us. We had the entire ship, and the attention to detail inside of it was just magnificent. So I had it much better than Anthony Hopkins. I’m sorry for him.”
“We were in Wakanda, and we know Wakanda is special,” continued Bassett. “We had Shuri’s lab, we had the elevator opening up, [and] we had a fake elephant and her baby come in. Of course, they made the generated elephant later, but at least we had an elephant to respond to.”
To be clear, Hopkins’ earlier comments weren’t necessarily meant as a dig at the overall quality of the MCU. In The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he even confessed that he was ready to quit acting until director Kenneth Branagh met with him about Thor. Hopkins’ role as Odin may not have earned him any major accolades. But if he really did consider retiring prior to accepting the role, then in a way, it sounds like we have Marvel to thank for his second Oscar win in 2021 for his performance in The Father.
Do you agree with Bassett’s comments about the advantages of practical sets? Let us know in the comment section below!
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