THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER Interview: Kieron L. Dyer Talks Meeting Idris Elba And Axl's Floating Head (Exclusive)

Thor: Love and Thunder star Kieron L. Dyer talks to us about shooting that floating head scene, sparring with Jaimie Alexander's Sif, the movie's epic final battle, and his hopes for Axl's MCU future...

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Thor: Love and Thunder shook up the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some exciting ways, giving the God of Thunder a daughter and revealing that Heimdall has a son. Axl played a crucial role in the movie, guiding Thor and his allies to Gorr the God Butcher's location for that epic final battle. 

It was at that point, he powered up alongside the rest of New Asgard's kids, while we'd later see the teenager sparring with Jaimie Alexander's Sif. There are clearly big things on the horizon for Axl, and the same could be said for the actor who brought him to life in this movie: Kieron L. Dyer. 

In our interview, he reflects on working with Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, and Christian Bale, talks about meeting Idris Elba during shooting, Axl's biggest moments in the movie, and what his MCU future could look like. Kieron also reveals how the now infamous floating head scene was shot, what it was like to wield the power of Thor, and a deleted scene featuring Axl's mom.

The actor did a great job in the blockbuster, and we'd bet on Marvel Studios having big plans for this newly created character moving forward.

Check out our full interview with the Thor: Love and Thunder star below:

How soon after being cast in the film did you learn that, not only would you be playing an Asgardian, but also the son of Heimdall?

It’s funny you should ask that because, what happened is, when I auditioned for the movie, obviously Marvel is so secretive, they didn’t tell me what I was auditioning for. All I knew was that it was a Marvel film. I didn’t know it was Thor. I think my agent told me further into the casting process when it got really cut down that it was Thor. I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I started thinking, ‘Who could I play in Thor?’ I knew I wasn’t one of the background people as I had speaking lines. I was thinking it might be the younger version of someone or a character’s son and it was then I figured out, ‘Maybe I’m Heimdall’s son.’ Then my manager told me it was Axl. 

Did you get the chance to speak with Idris Elba at all about following in his footsteps in some ways?

We did actually get to speak while I was working on the film. One of the main things I was so excited about was the whole idea of being his son. I knew I didn’t have any scenes with him, so assumed I wouldn’t get to have any scenes with him, but one time, I was doing schoolwork and my dad went out to take a phone call and then came back in and said, ‘They want you to meet Idris Elba. He’s on set right now.’ Okay! I went on set with my dad, they introduced me to him, and it was surreal. I had such a good time. He’s such a cool guy and I’m so glad I got to meet him.

Many of your scenes are with Chris Hemsworth and Christian Bale, of course, so what was it like working with them and did you learn anything from those experiences as an actor?

I definitely got to learn a lot from them. I think it meant a lot to me as well because I’d followed Chris Hemsworth’s journey as Thor throughout the MCU from the first Thor film to all The Avengers films, and I always really admired Christian Bale as an actor from The Dark Knight and Terminator. I was really excited when I found out I’d get to work with them and I learnt so much just by working with them and watching how they work. In my scenes with Chris, we played around with the lines a bit and I learnt a lot about improvisation. With Christian Bale, it was more about how he embodied his character. He’s terrifying in this movie and being with him and acting side-by-side with him was crazy. 

That training scene with Jaimie Alexander as Sif must have been fun too - what was preparing for that like? 

There was a lot of preparation! Soon after I got to Australia, I got to work on that pretty much straight away. It was the first thing I filmed even though it was at the very end of the movie. I guess I was a bit nervous because it was the first scene I was going to film and I was having to do sword training. The most fun was learning all the stunts and doing the preparation with Jaimie. We had so much fun together. I was so glad I got to meet her and we just had a blast really.

The movie’s final battle is great fun with all the kids powering up and heading into battle; what did you enjoy most about those days on set? 

There was a lot to get through, but it wasn’t all in one day. It was scattered throughout different weeks, but that was crazy. I was reading the script in my apartment and was just like, ‘Oh my days, I cannot wait to film this!’ I got on set that day, there was a blue screen in this huge room, a cracked rocky floor…we did the running sequence in there with the power of Thor before we started fighting and stuff. Other days, we worked on the fighting. Some of them were choreographed sequences. Some of them were just us with weapons fighting the air as there was nothing there. When I watched it back on the monitor, I looked a bit weird, but in the movie, it looks great. 

With a big movie like this, there are always going to be moments that don’t make the final cut, but were there any scenes with Axl you were disappointed didn’t quite make it in?

Not really, to be honest! I’m pretty sure all of my scenes made it into the film. The bedroom scene…the second time you see me was shortened because there was a scene there where I have a conversation with my mum. That was shortened and they cut that bit out, but aside from that, all of my scenes made into the movie. 

What was it like working with director Taika Waititi? It must have been fun to see him in action and learn from him on set. 

Definitely. I couldn’t imagine when I watched Thor: Ragnarok that I could have ever dreamed about being able to work with Taika on the sequel to that movie. Working with him was so great. He’s such a funny, cool guy and really creative. He made such a funny environment on set and there was always singing and dancing. He was always playing songs, especially Guns N’ Roses. I learned a lot just from watching him and the way he directs. Just the way he thinks and thinks about the storyline of the film and the detail that goes into making it and what he did making Ragnarok as well. I’m so glad I got to work with him. 

Looking to the future, it appears Axl will be a very important part of New Asgard as it continues taking shape; do you have any specific hopes for where you’d like to take this character next?

I have absolutely no idea what Marvel is going to do! I’m not sure at the moment. I’m just going to wait and see, but yeah…

It feels like Axl’s powers could be really useful to The Avengers with everything on the horizon for them like The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, so how does it feel to know you could be part of stories like that? 

I would absolutely love to be in any of those films. I would love to. I have no idea. 

Much has been said about the floating head scene with Axl communicating with Thor, including some VFX changes made since the movie was released in theaters, but I’d love to know how you went about shooting that? 

It was funny how they did it actually because I thought I’d be with the other actors. What happened was, I came to set and I was the only actor there. The way they filmed it, I was just sitting in this chair and the camera was here on my face and just focusing on me. Taika was there saying the other lines as I said my lines. Then, he showed me the shot after of how they filmed it because I wasn’t there when they did that and they shot that half of the conversation separately. They then put my face in. 

Axl is a new character, but it feels like the bond between him and Thor has been there forever. It must have been fun to explore that with Chris? 

Definitely. It was really fun. I also think because Axl is a new character, as you said, he isn’t in the comics and it was fun to play around with that with Chris and with Taika. 

Did you use the comics for any research before working on the film?

I definitely looked into The Mighty Thor comics by Jason Aaron, but I also looked a lot more into Heimdall as well. I realised that there was a lot about him that hadn’t been referenced in the MCU, so I kind of looked into his abilities and his powers from the movies and comics just to see what Axl could maybe inherit in a future film. That was my preparation because Axl isn’t in the comics so it was more of a case of looking at Heimdall.

Thor: Love and Thunder is now available on Digital and will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD September 27.

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