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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ star Karl Urban talks about ‘gnarly’ shoot

There was one major reason Karl Urban wanted to be a part of the new “Thor: Ragnarok” movie.

Cate Blanchett.

“I got a call out of the blue from the director, Taika Waititi,” said Urban while in Miami. “Once he told me 99 percent of my scenes would be with her, I said, ‘Where do I sign?’”

Blanchett, who plays villain Hela, wasn’t the only star in the “dream team” cast.

“Some days you’re sitting on set and there’s Anthony Hopkins on your left, Sam Neill on your right and then Idris Elba over there,” he said. “It was just a constant revolving door of some of the best people in the business.”

Urban ended up having a blast — and not just because of his high wattage costars on the sequel, which finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lost on a foreign planet, battling Hela with a little help from his friends like The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

“I have a fun role,” said the Kiwi of his ax-wielding, tatted-out character Skurge the Executioner. “But there’s also something emotionally compelling about him and his journey.”

What made the process so much more enjoyable is that the entire cast got to do a lot of improvisation.

“I mean, we had a basic structure about what was to happen in the movie, then we would do a version of what was on the page,” said the 45-year-old actor. “Sometimes we would do four versions of the same scene and just play around. It felt very freeing.”

Not so freeing was Skurge’s costume.

“One day we were shooting in Atlanta and it was 100 degrees out,” reported the “Star Trek: Beyond” star. “That was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, doing this fighting. It was gnarly to say the least. You’d have to be in great shape to be able to pull that off.” (He is.)

Amazingly, Urban never read any Marvel comics while growing up in New Zealand.

“My first introduction to this world was reading the script,” he admitted. “It’s amazing to be a part of this iconic canon.”

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