"The Queen" Oscar winner says she can kick ass with the best of them here.
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Kenneth Branagh Anxious To Replace 'G-Word'
By Tim Lammers
March 16, 2011
Even though the word "geek" has become embraced as more of term of affection in the vernacular of pop culture in recent years, "Thor" director and Shakespeare-lover Kenneth Branagh said he'd like to find a new word that describes people hopelessly charmed by film, stage and literature.
"All my pals in the comic book world with the same kinds of passions as I refer to themselves as 'geeks' -- but I'm in the search of a new word besides 'geek' that isn't 'fanboy' or something as dull as 'passionate enthusiast,'" Branagh told me with a laugh during a recent break from post-production on his Marvel superhero film.
In his efforts to rid the English language of the "G-word," Branagh said he will look to a familiar source for some inspiration.
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So in a sense, Branagh said, his passions tied his world to the Marvel universe long before "Thor."
"There's a shared passion that goes beyond the surface," Branagh said. "It's a thrill to be part of worlds where such various and brilliant characters live in tales that can take us on wild rides. I think the parallels (Marvel fans and I share) are strong."
"Thor," starring Chris Hemsworth in the title role, along with Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, Clark Gregg and Idris Elba, opens in theaters nationwide May 6.
"For now, I guess I am a 'Shakespeare geek' -- but since I'm looking for something to replace 'geek,' I will start with William Shakespeare because he invented about 7,000 new words," Branagh teased. "I'll get my Shakespeare lexicon out and come up with a new word via the great man to describe someone as passionate about his stuff as me."
Prior to his appearance with the cast of "Thor" at the San Diego Comic-Con last July, Branagh said he was led to believe by some of his colleagues that the annual gathering was some odd and crazy spectacle. On the contrary, Branagh said, he couldn't have felt any different.
In fact, Branagh observed that the fans' reverence for Thor isn't much different than his passion for the works of Shakespeare. And as the director of big-screen tale of the Norse superhero, Branagh believes he's found a perfect fit since, in the Marvel movie canon, characters and story come first.
"I found myself at Comic-Con to be around like-minded people -- and I felt I was at home with a group of people who were passionate about these characters," Branagh
recalled. "What distinguishes the ambitions about these Marvel films is that visual effects do come second. The ambition is to put character, story, depth, observation and perception alongside a wonderful thrill ride of a picture."
Branagh, born 50 years ago in Belfast, Northern Ireland, said he obviously didn't have a Comic Con-like event to go to growing up in the U.K. -- but that's not to say he didn't have the passion of admiring performance art, and like the Comic-Con folks, collecting.
"When I was 15-16, I saved my pocket money and did weekend jobs so I could to get to London and go to the Old Vic Theatre and hang out about the stage doors to get autographs on theater programs," Branagh recalled. "It became incredibly important to me, so I can certainly understand the passion for memorabilia. I have a huge collection of theatre programs and related merchandise. These things are absolutely part of my enthusiasms and passions."
'Thor' Director Jokes About Finding New Word To Describe 'Geek'