Last week, Tessa Thompson, who plays the fierce Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, responded to an online complaint from some narrow-minded butthead about the “tomboy-ish” look of her character. After a fan mistakenly wrote that the same Valkyrie from the comics, whose buxom figure was being called canon by said butthead, wouldn’t give a shit what they thought because she’s a lesbian, Thompson pointed out that the character is bisexual, citing Valkyrie’s Fearless Defenders storyline, which included a brief but doomed (more on that in a sec) romance with Dr. Annabelle Riggs.
Thompson then posted that she tried to stay true to that characterization in her own depiction of Valkyrie, which seemed to position her as the first openly bisexual character in the Marvel film franchise. The Creed star was quick to note that the film doesn’t directly allude to her bisexuality, though. So, on the one hand, it was heartening to learn that Thompson wanted to bring that storyline to the big screen. But the lack of direct reference in the script was ultimately disappointing for LGBTQ folks. There’s still so little queer representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not to mention film in general). The TV shows have been somewhat more progressive—Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Jessica Jones both feature openly gay characters. But if you go back to the source material, you’ll just be disappointed, as Dr. Annabelle Riggs, one of the few lesbian characters in the comics, was killed off.
In a new Rolling Stone interview, Thompson reveals just how hard she and Taika Waititi fought to make Valkyrie’s bisexuality part of the film canon. The actress “[pitched] Waititi on making Valkyrie bisexual, based on her comic book relationship with anthropologist Annabelle Riggs.” This led to the director shooting “a glimpse of a woman walking out of Valkyrie’s bedroom.” Waititi tried to keep the scene, but Thompson tells Rolling Stone it was cut because it distracted from some “vital exposition.” Ultimately, Thompson says, “There were things that we talked about that we allowed to exist in the characterization, but maybe not be explicit in the film.” But the actress kept the story going in her mind, telling Rolling Stone that she thought of Valkyrie’s lover during a battle scene. And if she returns for Infinity War (as has been rumored), she hopes to “expand on Valkyrie’s love life.”