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LI's Natalie Portman: My 'Thor' character is the real deal

Natalie Portman is set to wield the comic

Natalie Portman is set to wield the comic book superhero's mighty hammer in the upcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder," which is set to begin filming in Australia early next year. Credit: Getty Images for Audi / Jesse Grant

Academy Award winner Natalie Portman has specified that Jane Foster, her scientist character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fully becomes the superhero Thor and not some substitute Thor in the upcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder," the fourth movie in that franchise.

"The female Thor … What do we call Thor?" asked tennis great Serena Williams, 38, in an Instagram Live video Saturday that focused primarily on the two women being among the founding partners of a planned NWSL team for Los Angeles.

"She's actually 'the mighty Thor,' " answered the Long Island-raised Portman, 39, using the unofficial extended description of Thor from the title of the initial comic-book series. "[In] the comics that had the female Thor, where Jane becomes Thor, … she's called 'mighty Thor.' " Comics writer Jason Aaron, who co-created this iteration of the character in 2014, has explained, "This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is Thor. This is the Thor of the Marvel Universe” after Jane Foster took on that mantle when the original, played by Chris Hemsworth throughout the Marvel movies, is deemed unworthy of wielding the sacred hammer Mjölnir.

"We're shooting in Australia at the beginning of next year," said Portman, who was raised primarily in Jericho and graduated from Syosset High School. The locale had been previously released but not the production time frame. Taika Waititi, who directed "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017), will helm "Thor: Love and Thunder." The upcoming film was originally announced for a Nov. 5, 2021, release, but in April, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to February 2022. "Obviously, everything is weird because of pandemic time — who knows what's happening," said Portman. "But the plan is for us all to go and to be shooting over there."

She joked that the delay gives her "more time to get jacked — which I have not! … I've got the carbo-loading down, but not the exercise part!"

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