Ray Stevenson Prepares For Volstagg

Exclusive: The Punisher talks Thor

He's already played Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, but now British actor and all-round top bloke, Ray Stevenson, is set to take another stab at the Marvel Universe in Kenneth Branagh's mighty Marvel adaptation, Thor.

Stevenson was cast recently as Volstagg The Valiant, one of the members of the Warriors Three (think the Jordanaires to the God of Thunder's Elvis), alongside Stuart Townsend and Tadanobu Asano. There should be one problem, though - Volstagg is, how you say, on the large side and, with filming set to start in January, Stevenson has very little time to bargain bucket his way to a new and improved waistline.

Luckily, Empire caught up with him recently and found that a solution is at hand, in the shape of a fat suit. "It's fantastic," said a beaming Stevenson. "I've tried the suit on, and what they've done is kind of sex him up: he's sort of slimmer but rounder."

We're not sure we're up for an exuberantly sexed-up Brian Blessed-alike, but Stevenson clarifies: "He's got every bit of that Falstaffian verve and vigour, and a bit of a beergut to suggest that enormous appetite, but he's not the sort of Weeble-shaped figure he is in the comics. He's Falstaff with muscles. I've got this amazing foam-injected undersuit that flexes with me. I can't wait!"

Neither can we. Thor also stars Chris Hemsworth (as the title character), Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Idris Elba. With a cast like that, it could well be bloody marvellous. Pun absolutely intended.