British actor Matthew Wolf is the voice of Thor in the direct to home animated feature by Lionsgate and Marvel Studios released in time for the Thor movie. Thor: Tales of Asgard is set in Thor’s teenaged years where he foolishly set in motion a war of the Frost giants against Asgard. Wolf played the role and in this exclusive interview with The Comic Book Bin, tells us more about his experience. This interview is a transcript based on notes from an phone interview.
Comic Book Bin: How does it feel to play an animated character?
Matthew Wolf: I tried to do the character justice. I played several animated characters in movies and games. Little animation was done before the recording. It was lots of fun and interesting.
CBB: This Thor was different. He was a young Thor. How does that differ from the other versions?
Wolf: When playing any role, it’s important to understand the character from things you’ve done yourself. Thor was no exception. Even if playing a comic book character, there’s no difference. It’s Thor’s face, not mine. You need to bring part of yourself into his journey of discovery. Thor had to prove himself. He is an ambitious young man. He was growing up. I felt the same, although I didn’t jump ob a ship though! Getting in touch and remembering how it felt at that age how I was free and enjoying life.
CBB: In both Thor Tales of Asgard and the Thor movie, Thor grows up. Is there a running theme here?
Wolf: I haven’t seen the live action movie yet. It’s interesting to see you say that but the feeling I get is like this. We recorded Tales of Asgard before the Thor movie even began shooting. Tales of Asgard was a new concept to show a younger Thor. He has to go through mistakes. At the end of the movie and all his mistakes, he is not an adult but becoming one. It’s not meant to be picked up in continuity. We’re not fully formed adults. There’s lots to learn and compare with our elders. Thor had to learn from Odin.
CBB: Will there be more Thor animated movies?
Wolf: I don’t know. Nothing’s specific. There wasn’t as many Thor fans then. There’s more now. There’s more thoughts given to Thor. He’s also part of the Mighty Avenger animated series, but I’m not involved in that. I hope we do more Marvel animated films.
CBB: Did you read Thor growing up?
Wolf: I did. There was this man who worked with my mom when I was a kid that was a big comic book fan. So I read some of the comics he brought to work. For the role of Thor, I did a lot of research. I checked out forums and chat rooms about Thor. I wanted to see what fans were saying about Thor, what they wanted.
CBB: What incarnation of Thor is your favourite?
Wolf: I haven’t seen them all but I really liked the all traditional Jonathan Rhys-Davies’s version. Davies played Gimli in the Lords of the Ring movies. I like his voice (editor’s notes: Davies played Thor in the episode Mortal Wounds in the Incredible Hulk animated TV series in 1996). I enjoyed the new version of the young Thor and how he progressed in the story. I like how the story goes beyond – how Marvel keeps changing. They can’t do the same things all the time. They are very smart at Marvel. They pay attention to details and it’s outstanding. They are not gonna please everyone, but what they do is good. This new version of Thor has great characterisation, emotions and a new voice quality which is cool! I think this version has equal merit to others. By the way, there is a Thor comparison site to check his various voices.
CBB: How did you find the visuals in Thor Tales of Asgard?
Wolf: I liked a lot of the artwork. It’s beautiful work that works well for the small screen. It’s difficult to make things dark in traditional animation. But the set pieces tied in well with the timeline. You get a sense of where Thor comes from. It’s the past like ten years ago. I haven’t seen the production design of the lie action film, but the production design on the animation was great.
CBB: What would you tell to the fans of Thor reading this?
Wolf: Well, it’s a lot of pressure to play Thor when the movie just came out. I hope fans like my take on Thor and that they enjoy it. This new Thor is different than the live action film.
CBB: So, there aren’t any action figures based on this animated film planned?
Wolf: I don’t know! I’m don’t think there will be any action figures. I’m not privy on details.