While the Thor: Ragnarok cast is packed to the brim with fantastic leading actors, there are plenty of other amazing actors cast in secondary roles. Living legend Jeff Goldblum is one such actors, as is Rachel House, a Taika Waititi alum who worked on such films as Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Disney’s Moana.
Her role this time around was that of Topaz, the stoic henchman of the immortal Grandmaster. LRM had a chance to sit down with actress Rachel House and discuss her experience on working on this fun film with Goldblum and Waititi.
So, tell us about your character.
Rachel House: Topaz. Well, she is the Grandmaster’s main henchperson and she is very protective and very loyal to the grand master. And, that’s about all I know [as far as the film goes]. I know in the Marvel universe she’s a sorceress and she’s a whole lot of other things but, I think, this is much more Taika’s take on Topaz, yeah.
House: She’s a kickass warrior.
So, what did you have to do to get that role? This role for the film?
House: Just you know, kind of normal, did an audition for it and then and then I got an email from Taika to say, by the way, you got the role.
So how was it wearing all that armor, latex?
House: It was so beautifully made they are just genius. You know the designers. But it was, you know, I mean gosh I think in battle it would totally work. I think you’ll be pretty well protected.
House: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you probably wouldn’t want to run in it necessarily, but, yeah, it definitely gives you some weight and some size. So, in that regard that was really nice to have to switch into character.
How was it like getting it on though because I mean though, it looked pretty hard.
House: Yeah. It was quite an extensive sort of time getting it on and to be kind of pulled up, and you know the pants and the top were quite separate things, and so it was a process like I needed a couple of people to help me.
So, for walking. I mean like you said, for battle it was great but, I mean, moving around, and with the rifle?
House: Yeah. Yup. I mean it suitably gives you a particular posture that I think is very useful thing. And you put it on a person like Topaz, because you’re very up. Up straight and, you know, it gives you quite a bit of heft so you feel invincible.
So how is it working with with Jeff [Goldblum]?
House: Fantastic. I mean, he is so masterful and there was a lot of improvisation and so, we had a lot of fun and a lot of it didn’t make it into the film.
Can you share something?
House: Taika would just kind of throw things at us and Jeff would kind of pick it up and run you know, and we did quite a few sort of cheeky interchanges, you know, constantly, and I think some of its going to be on the special features. But yeah, we get a lot. So, Jeff is wonderful.
I mean, how did you manage to keep a straight face? You were always like [Makes stern face].
I’m kind of used to it I think because I’ve done a lot of phones with Taika and he’s a lot of comedy and all of his films. But, I know that when we were kind of doing some stuff a lot of the other actors on the other side of the camera, were kind of losing it. Which was nice.
Yeah, you were great at keeping your face. You were scary.
But, I mean, that’s a good thing.
House: Yeah, that’s a good thing.
I think that’s what you were shooting for.
House: Yeah, yeah. Totally.
As for the gun. I mean, you didn’t get to really shoot much of the gun, but did you have to do any training to at least hold it? Or, anything like that.
House: No. No. No. Because I didn’t have to shoot.
Was it real?
House: No. No. No.
At least something was lighter.
House: Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s right. I mean flying the spaceship was something new. Yeah. that was pretty fun. So, I got to shoot stuff then but, it was just pushing down buttons so, pretty easy.
Was it like kind of like playing video games?
House: Yeah. It was a little bit. Yeah. A lot like it. Definitely.
So, you got like these — these different stages of feel, like badass — I can shoot whoever I want.
House: Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. I think that’s exactly Topaz.
How do you feel about these female character roles where you get that feeling, you get to be a part of the male characters?
I mean, I think it just comes naturally to women. To be kick ass. Yeah. I mean I don’t. It doesn’t feel any different. Yeah.
Well, you’re lucky.
You’ve got to be thrilled.
House: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Is there anything you can share in reference to any upcoming projects you may have going on?
House: I’ve just finished director some commercials back home and I’ve got a couple of independent films going on next year, probably shouldn’t talk too much about them but. It’s always nice to doing independent films are really fun. You know, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot more kind of sense of community because I think because there’s a much smaller crew and cast.
Okay. So, it sounds like you have quite a variety when it comes to roles. Is there a particular favorite you like to play maybe? In this role you were like, the rebel serious badass.
House: Yep. Yep. I mean I think it’s nice to be challenged. Yeah with different kind of roles. The ones I’ve got coming up are both comic roles which is always fun. So yeah, looking forward to it.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters this Friday!