Waititi, the film's director, says his and Hemsworth’s children created the original designs for some of the monsters in “Love and Thunder.”
When you’re a parent, the pile of kid-made artwork is voluminous. You can’t possibly keep every little scribble your children produce, but you also don’t want to scrap the precious mementos. Yet, there’s only so much room on the refrigerator door and in those storage boxes.
If you’re Taika Waititi, however, you could preserve the products of your children’s imagination on the big screen.
In an interview with People, the director of Thor: Love and Thunder, alongside the film’s star Chris Hemsworth, revealed that their children drew the designs for a group of shadow monsters featured in the Marvel movie.
“Here’s a fun fact,” Waititi told the magazine. “The monsters in the film were originally based on drawings that all of our kids did. I was typing the script and my daughter kind of leaned over and she was like, ‘What’s an oil monster?’ That’s like the first thing I could come up with [when] I was writing. I said, ‘I have no idea. I just wrote oil monster, whatever that means.’ And she goes, ‘What do you think that looks like? Do you think it’s spiky?’ And then she draws this like snakey thing.”
Waititi’s patience with his child peering over his shoulder to “help” as he worked from home is admirable, especially after two years of pandemic living. (Bonus points for coming up with a way to keep his kids engaged in a creative, screen-free project!) And the director’s suggestion was such a success that he invited the children of other people working on the film to join in.
“Taika said to me, ‘Tell your kids to do some drawings,’ and they did some drawings,” Hemsworth added.
Waititi passed the kids’ art along to the visual effects artists and “they turned them into these fully rendered, wild monsters,” he said. While some of the creatures had to be “toned down” because they were “super colorful,” the spirit of the kids’ creations remained.
“That’s why the monsters are so weird and look so cool,” added Waititi. “That’s why the monsters look like they were created by kids.”
Waititi, 46, has two daughters — Te Kāinga o te Hinekāhu, 10, and Matewa Kiritapu, 6 — with ex Chelsea Wistanley. Hemsworth, 38, is dad to daughter India, 10, and twin sons Tristan and Sasha, 8, with wife Elsa Pataky, 46.
The whole production of the Marvel film was family-friendly, with Hemsworth telling People, “Anyone who had kids in the cast had their kids on the set.”
“I always encourage people to have their kids around because it’s just a cool environment and it chills the crew out,” Waititi explained. But it did lead to a few moments where “you’d stop and go, ‘Uh-oh,’ because we’d hear something [in the background] and he’d be like, ‘Is that one of mine? Or one of yours?’”
Two of Hemsworth’s children make cameo appearances in the movie, as do those of his co-stars Christian Bale Natalie Portman, along with Waititi’s kids.
Talking about life on set, Hemsworth nailed the ability of children to pull adults into the present moment and reveal the absurdity of the adult world.
“It’s serious and there is pressure and whatever, and the kids come in and they just pull the rug out and they go, ‘This is ridiculous, come on,’” he said. “And it's a nice reminder and sort of shakes [you] into the present of this should be fun.”