Jeff Goldblum Talks The Grandmaster

Jeff Goldblum is one of those actors where a simple mentioning of his name could lead to a total nerd freakout. He invokes memories of good times thanks to his iconic roles in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and The Fly (a personal favorite), and he randomly pops up on various television shows (Portlandia, The League, etc.), offering a nice sampling of the glory that is Jeff Goldblum.

That’s why people were giddy when Goldblum’s name appeared on the casting call for Thor: Ragnarok. It was more than the surprise expressed by his inclusion, it was the excitement that a beloved geeky actor was getting involved in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, for the first time, we’re hearing from the man himself regarding the character he’s bringing to life: The Grandmaster.

In an interview with Empire, Goldblum talked about how he’s preparing to take on such an eccentric character.

“He’s a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker… an enjoyer of life and taste and smells.  I thought, ‘I can do that, I’ll bet!’ I’m working on my part every day. I’m a sponge, researching.”

So Goldblum is playing an ancient hedonistic alien. Tell me you wouldn’t shell out the 15 bucks for IMAX tickets to see that in all its glory. As for the research he’s doing, it’s probably best not to get any more details regarding his “indulgent” training.

It’s clearly going to be a character that could steal the show (and that’s saying a lot with Ragnarok’s cast). The Grandmaster could be so much fun, director Taiki Waititi is giving Goldblum a lot of freedom to play the character.

“(Waititi) is encouraging me to improvise and make it my own, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I hope he doesn’t throw me out on the first day.”

Waititi previously said he’s looking to inject Ragnarok with more humor than previous Thor movies. Allowing Goldblum to improvise with his dry sense of humor could be just what the movie needs. Plus, it will allow him to create great chemistry with the rest of the impressive cast assembled.

“Not only Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins … jeez, that’s gonna be fun. I’ve never been to Australia except to do these little publicity things.”

Oh, the struggles of being a successful Hollywood actor and getting to spend up to a month filming in beautiful Australia. Also, if you think about it, “Down Under” would be a perfect setting for an alien gladiator arena if the Planet Hulk rumblings are true. Then again, Waititi is a native New Zealander and may just want to keep production close to home.

While Goldblum may have been the biggest surprise from Ragnarok, he’s not the only new face. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett becomes the MCU’s first true female villain when she takes on the role of Hela. Also coming on board, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Karl Urban as Skurge. Don’t forget about Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Anthony Hopkins (Odin)… and of course, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and his alter-ego, the Hulk.

Directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), Thor: Ragnaok hits theaters November 3rd, 2017.  However, if you need a Goldblum fix before that, he reprises his role of Dr. David Levinson in Independence Day: Resurgence on June 24th.

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