Thor's Natalie Portman: London rivals Hollywood

Two stars of superhero sequel praise UK capital as leading film location after completing most work at Shepperton

The actor Natalie Portman has praised the "incredible" diversity that London offers film-makers and hinted that the UK may even trump Hollywood as a location for film production.

At a press conference in London ahead of the world premiere in Leicester Square of superhero movie Thor: the Dark World, Portman said it was hard to compare London with the traditional California home of film because "we don't really shoot in Hollywood at all". She added: "I love working here, though, and I'm envious of British actors and British crews, because American and Australian actors, we end up like Gypsies, moving cities all the time."

The sequel to both last year's $1.5bn blockbuster The Avengers and 2011's original Thor was shot largely on location at Shepperton studios in Surrey. The film features a large number of scenes set in and around London, including important sequences shot at landmarks such as St James' Palace and the Oxo Tower.

Portman said London offered actors great variety. "You can really have such a rich career here between the theatre, movies and TV all in London. It's pretty great that it can all be done in the same place."

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, described London as "the new Hollywood" in a recent Guardian interview. He agreed that studios were moving away from LA.

"The interesting thing about Hollywood is that I don't know how much is shot there now – I know once upon a time it did," he said. "But it's predominantly sets and studios. The nice thing about here is that there are brilliant studios, but there are beautiful locations to take advantage of, and I love the aesthetic this film has because we get to see London.

"Most of these films are set with New York or American cities as background, and I love that difference. Yeah, I do love shooting here."


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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