THOR sometimes gets a bad rap for being the weakest of the Marvel stand alone movies. But with THOR: RAGNAROK that all changes. Recently, the cast and filmmakers came together in Beverly Hills to talk about the film. I had a chance to be there, and experience how the cast are all hysterically funny together and how much fun they had making the best THOR film so far.

Here are some of the fun moments from the press conference and some secrets from THOR: RAGNAROK in theaters November 2.

  1. THOR is stronger than ever before

    Kevin Feige spoke about how THOR has changed in this film. Feige said, “If you look at the movie, it’s got the epic action. It’s got Thor arguably more powerful than he’s ever been in any of the films, with his powers going up against the Hulk, but at the same time embracing what Mr. Hemsworth does better than anyone up until now has ever been able to see, which is his acting chops expands to comedy in an amazing, in an amazing way. And Taika giving them the confidence to explore that, and to try things.”

  2. Why this THOR is so different

    HEMSWORTH believes it’s all because of Taika Waititi.  “I think we all had a, a vision, and an idea, and a want to do something vastly different than what we’d done before, and take it to a different place.  And that meant kind of doing away with what we knew, and just reinventing it, and it all came from his crazy, wonderful brain, and his inspiration, and him pushing us every day on set, and constantly encouraging us to improvise, and explore, and take risks.  And it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set, and a film that I feel the most proud of, just because of this – this whole team, and the collaboration, and fun we had.”

  3. The women really do kick ass in this film

    Cate Blanchett (Hela), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and Rachel House (Topaz) are three not to mess with women that all kick ass in this film. It is one of the reasons why I loved RAGNAROK. Cate Blanchett said “It was hugely enjoyable for me. And apart from working with these guys, obviously, the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit, and to wear that much lycra was really exciting for me…. I went back to two things, primarily. I went back to the extraordinary images that are there in the original comics, and then I went to the fan base, ‘cause there’s all these Hela fan girls who are doing these extraordinary make-ups online…. So I started with the visual, rather than the textural, I think.”

    Rachel who has worked with Taika before said, “Well, he’s a lot better dressed because usually we’re running around in the mud, and the snow, and the rain.  So it was wonderful to come in each day and see Taika in a suit, and Italian leather shoes.”

    Tessa said she didn’t feel any pressure “You know, the things that I thought about the particulars of Valkyrie had more to do with, like mass and size.  For example, I thought, like ‘Oh, I’m – I’m short,’ you know.   Or like, ‘I’m not buff enough.’  Or how – you know, she’s arguably as strong as Thor.  How do I stand, you know, next to a person like Chris Hemsworth and feel, and feel like that’s true, you know.  So I didn’t think so much – I mean, satisfying Norse mythology, it’s mystifying, and fantastical, and glorious, and also very confusing and doesn’t make a lot of sense, you know.”

  4. Cate wanted more fighting with Chris

    I didn’t do enough of it.  I, I kept wanting to do more. HEMSWORTH “You wanted to hit me.”  CATE BLANCHETT “But no, I – look, it was, it was hugely enjoyable for me.  And apart from working with these guys, obviously, the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit, and to wear that much lycra was really exciting for me. But I worked with Chris’ trainer, Zahki for 20 minutes a day, which doesn’t sound like much, but my god, it was intense. I manifest weapons, and I had to throw them, and I could see Taika’s disappointment as I threw it, I said, ‘Ha.’  And I had to stop making the noises, because I’d go, ‘Ha.’  And so I had to close my mouth.  And so eventually Zoey suggested that I put some sugar, which was deeply humiliating – sugar packets in my hand so at least I could throw something and be real.  And then – yeah, so Zoey helped me with little things like that.  She was a great action director.  So I moved from the humiliating to the exhilarating in a matter of five days.”

  5. Are Loki and THOR really on the same page now?

    Chris Hemsworth said that “It just helped kind of shed anything too familiar. You know, I feel like, well, holding the hammer, or even the wig in the previous costume, certainly just put me in a place, and set me on a path of what I already knew. And I wanted it to be unfamiliar, and so everything from the hammer, to the costume, the hair – made me, and allowed me to move differently, and forced me to move differently, and so that was a great thing.”

    Tom Hiddleston said “I mean, in a way, in this film, it is about, I think … the development of the relationship between Thor and Loki, his brothers, is – Thor has evolved, and grown, and matured; and Loki in a way is stuck in his struggles of the past. And that’s, in a way, that’s the challenge for Loki in this, is that he’s got to confront the fact that time is moving on, and people change.”

  6. THOR’S biggest easter egg?

    During the conference I asked Kevin Feige and Taika if there were any easter eggs in the trash piles of Sakaar. Both Kevin and Taika had this to say on my question. Feige said, “There might be some things in the trash piles.  I mean, the biggest – the biggest Easter eggs are on the side of the Sakaran Palace – right, Taika?  There are – there are previous Grandmaster champions that we see, as one for Hulk is being constructed, and those are all sort of Easter eggs for the deeper comic universe – that may or may not ever show up in the cinematic universe, but we thought it’d be fun to celebrate.”

    The heads that he is speaking about are: Beta Ray Bill , Ares, Bi-Beast and Man-Thing. Whether they’ll turn up in future MCU movies Feige is sky talking about it, because Phase 3 is still being worked on.

    Taika jumped in and joked that there is one easter egg, “Yeah.  And in the trash pile, there is one Easter egg, an actual egg. If you were in – yeah, I mean, it’s – it’s one of the small ones – well, it’s one of the tiny little chocolate ones, and it’s the wide shot.”

Yes, there’s a scene with Chris Hemsworth, shirtless.

In Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger the Incredible Hulk!

THOR: RAGNAROK is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

THOR: RAGNAROK thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.