Our first interview for the press event was a delightful THOR: RAGNAROK interview with Rachel House. She plays Topaz in the film, who is the Grandmaster’s right hand man. She’s no stranger to the Disney family as she has also played Gramma Tala in last year’s blockbuster, MOANA.
Now that THOR: RAGNAROK is in theaters (and I’m sure you’ve all seen the movie, right?!) we’re wrapping up the press junket with Rachel House.
She plays Topaz, the right-hand henchman to Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster character in the film and some hilarious scenes.
When we met her, she was taken aback by all of us waiting for her and our excited cheers when she entered the room.
I’m not sure that anyone warned her that bloggers are an excitable group or what, but now she knows!
Exclusive Thor: Ragnarok Interview With Rachel House, Topaz
Our first question had to do with her character.
She’s pretty deadpan most of the movie, while all the crazy world of Sakaar is going on around her.
We wanted to know how hard was it to keep a straight face during her scenes?
Rachel House: “You know, I’m pretty used to keeping a straight face, ‘cause I’ve done a lot of Taika’s films, and he, it’s always like that.
But some of the other actors weren’t so good at it. [LAUGHTER]
Like losing it. Like they were losing it, especially at Jeff Goldblum, ‘cause he was so funny.
I mean that’s not even half of it what you see. It’s not even a quarter of what, of the improvisation and stuff that we were doing, you know?
And Jeff was just so masterful at improvisation, you know.”
Scenes That Didn’t Make It In
With all the improvisation, I figured there was something pretty great that didn’t make it in.
So we asked what was left out that she wished was in the final film.
Rachel House: “You know, there’s a lot, and I believe that they’re gonna do a little kinda gag real maybe…with the release of the, something like that Taika was saying last night.
There’s a whole thing we do with writing out a check, which is so bizarre in that environment. [LAUGHTER]
You know, and I’m kind of giving instructions on how to write out a check in my stupid Kiwi accent as well.
It’s pretty funny I think. But yeah, Jeff was fabulous.”
Expanding a bit more on Jeff Goldblum and his ad-libbing.
She told us about a scene with a keyboard and a song that didn’t make it into the film, but went on for about an hour in filming.
Rachel House: “It was really cool. I mean, I think he had a tiny little bit to kind of go with, but then he just kept expanding.
You know, as you know, he is a wonderful jazz musician anyway. So he just expanded that, and then I was sort of his back up, really bad back up singer as well.
That didn’t make it in, which is a bummer.”
Her Relationship with Taika Waititi
Rachel and Taika met when Taika was 17-years-old and working in a small theater.
They stayed in touch over the years, and she followed his comedy career. And now they work together quite often!
She’s even been called his good luck charm.
Since she’s worked with Taika a lot recently, we asked what is the best part of having him as her director.
Rachel House: “Just the fun. Yeah, the fun of it is really good. But, I mean, this is the first you know, massive film he’s done.
The others were very independent, therefore we had a very limited amount of time to shoot.
So, you know, we made Hunt for the Wilderpeople people with five weeks. And we had to literally run around the bush, and the mud, and the snow, and the rain.
Yeah. It was a lot of fun. But we had no time, you know? So, we just had to keep going.
Whereas in, in Thor, because of the scale I think as well, we got to kind of breath a little bit. So, and Taika was allowed to play as much as possible.
So that was really great seeing him able to do that without any kind of time restraint.”
Side note: I’ve decided if I ever make it to Hollywood as an actor, I will only work with Taika Waititi. Just sayin’!
From Gramma Tala to Topaz
In MOANA she made us laugh, she made us cry.
I know when I left that movie, I was in love with this perfect grandmother/granddaughter relationship.
What was it like playing something so very different?
Rachel House: “Kind of easy-ish. It’s a kind of character that Taika [LAUGHS] always makes me play. You know what I mean?
It’s funny, ‘cause I just play all these really mean characters, and Taika and I’m not mean at all.
I’m sort of really oohhh about meanness. So I think he kind of enjoys that.”
She kept us laughing with her very laid back style and we loved having a chance to meet with her.
Be sure to catch her this week as Topaz in THOR: RAGNAROK in theaters everywhere!
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)