Although Natalie is in Australia right now to shoot Thor: Love and Thunder in the coming months, she is taking part in countless virtual events this October to promote her children’s book. As part of the promotion, Natalie has given an interview for Fatherly, in which she not only talks about the book, but also about her character in the fourth installment of Thor, and the Star Wars movies that Aleph and Amalia have seen. There are some juicy quotes after the jump. Thanks to Aran for the find:
I know you’re an avid reader — you have your own virtual book club that you started during the pandemic. I assume you wrote most of it during lockdown?
I did and it was so — it all came together, the plan for it, pre-pandemic. But then yes, the bulk of the work happened during the pandemic. It was a little sad because I was looking forward to sitting with the illustrator and sitting with the publisher and going through stuff together. Everything had to be done remotely. But it was kind of lucky timing. Not that there’s anything good about the pandemic, but timing-wise, I had time to do the work.
How do you talk to your kids about gender roles and societal perceptions of gender? I know it’s a pretty heavy topic, especially for younger kids.
The thing is, you have to think what is age-appropriate for kids. Kids don’t come out knowing that there are obstacles. I don’t really want to introduce to my child at three that she’s going to have all these hardships because she’s a girl. We can talk about it when she’s older. For a boy, I think the most important thing is to be conscious how what you do or what you say can make other people. That’s what storytelling is. You want to talk to them equally about the issues. For me, I don’t really want to talk about the big issues right now with them. I think it’s too early. I started talking to my son a little bit about how to treat people nicely. The core of it is just caring for other people and imagining how they feel.
If anything the boys need it more than the girls. At three, the age my daughter is now — it’s not necessarily something they would understand anyway or that I am excited to introduce. Oh, here’s an obstacle. They’re so unaware of any kind of gender definitions or restrictions. What I wanted to teach both of them was to have empathy for all people. It’s exposing them to stories that have protagonists that are all genders, backgrounds, and ability levels.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you about Thor. I assume you’re going to tell you every plot twist?
I can’t tell you that much. I’m really excited. I’m starting to train, to get muscles. If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is. I’m trying to think — it’s based on the graphic novel of the Mighty Thor. She’s going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side.
You’ve got the cool mom thing covered since you were also in Star Wars. How do you look back on those films?
It’s so fun to be part of something that kids relate to so much. I haven’t shown my kids the movies yet — I think it’s so weird for them to think of me as anything other than their mom. They’ve seen the recent Star Wars movies that I am not in — my son has, my daughter, is too young. It feels really lucky to be part of something that’s every child’s imaginary world. It’s very exciting to be able to impress my kids a little bit.