As explored in our Tom Hiddleston interview, audiences love Loki. So for actor Christopher Eccleston in Thor: The Dark World, stepping in to be the central villain is a tall task. Lucky for him, his character of Malekith has 1,000 years of pent-up desire for retribution boiling inside his blood and that makes for pretty good film fodder for villainy to rule the day.
“The point of my storyline, it’s vengeance,” Eccleston proudly said of what is front and center in the Thor: The Dark World trailer. “He is a maniac for vengeance.”
Eccleston then reveals that there were more moments in the movie than we get to see, that further explain why he is so darn mad. “There were some scenes which -- for understandable reasons -- didn’t make the final cut, which explained a bit of a backstory between me, my ancestors, and Borr… who is Odin’s father,” he said.
“The dark elves, before the big ban -- centuries and centuries ago -- were humiliated in defeat, and ground into the dirt by Odin. And Malekith has slept on that. And the theme of that element is vengeance, really. And as we know, as somebody once said, ‘Let he who seeks vengeance be careful to dig two graves.’ It’s a pointless exercise.”
The actor welcomed the chance to bring a weight to the villainy that is reflected in the film’s title. “My job was to bring a dark element, The Dark World. The dark elves are seeking to turn light into darkness,” Eccleston said. “It’s really that simple, and that classic.”
He is quite proud of the villainy stakes he raised after two Marvel films with Loki as the bad guy. But, what most surprised Eccleston were the moments in Thor: The Dark World that will find audiences chuckling with joy. “It’s interesting talking about the humor of the film. I saw it last week and was really surprised at the amount of humor, because I’m such a miserable bastard,” Eccleston said and laughed. “I was completely excluded from any of the joy!”
Eccleston marveled at how director Alan Taylor and Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige brought that light touch, he believes, to counterbalance that downright awfulness that Malekith and his dark elves brought to the film overall.
“The idea, I think, with Alan and Kevin, was to suggest that the dark elves were as ancient a race as the Asgardians. They had a history, which is why we gave them a language, and had a culture. But most of all, they had a grudge, which they had slept on for millions of years,” Eccleston said. That could explain the fierceness to this Thor battles Malekith clip!
“What’s most interesting about the film is it has a variety of tones, and myself and Adewale, who played Algrim and Kurse, our job was to bring the threat and the menace and the jeopardy. So we ground it in bitterness.”
Speaking of bitterness… how long did it take for him to become Malekith? “My makeup call was about three o’clock. I was in the chair till about ten o’clock, then I hit the set,” Eccleston said. “So, I was not a happy elf.”
And it shows on screen!
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