Thor is mighty. Thor is huge. Thor is blond. But until the arrival of the fun-looking Thor: Ragnarok, the Marvel Universe’s Thor has mostly been so boring it’s become acceptable to use the word thoring as a substitute for tedious.
You know who isn’t boring, though?
The strapping celluloid blonds below.
‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’ (1958)
The grandmomma of hyphenless films about towering titanesses, this B-movie launched an army of fetishists (macrophilists, if you’re wondering) who get their ragnaroks off by being destroyed by five-story Nancy Archer. And destroy Nancy Archer does! Her no-good husband spends all her money while running around with other dames, so when she’s embiggened by aliens, her first thought is that she can finally smash his puny human head. (Is this a cuck thing?) Obviously, she should have been thinking about the fortune she’d make running a tree-pruning business.
Although the dishwater-blond incarnation of natural noirette actress Allison Hayes is far from the yellowest on this list, she’s certainly the biggest, so she makes the grade. If you need natural blond roots, Darryl Hannah (5-foot-10) stars in the 1993 comedic sequel from the geniuses behind This Is Spinal Tap.
‘Atomic Blonde’ (2017)
Charlize Theron kicks so much ass in this film, she can’t even blow her nose without killing three ninjas. Here, she plays a relentless MI6 assassin who smashes her way through Berlin in pursuit of a list of Soviet agents. At 5-foot-10, Theron is one of the shorter blondes on this list, but since most people assume her to be 6-foot-3 and smelling of gunsmoke and Black Opium, she earns her place.
Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, Atomic Blonde somehow summoned an even cooler title. Theron developed the role herself as a passion project, while all the espionage and fighting come courtesy of John Wick director David Leitch. It’s especially worth watching to enjoy the rare sight of a frosty blond giantess who kills fascists instead of embodying them.
‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ (2005)
When your villain absolutely must be tall, ethereal and pale, Tilda Swinton is your go-to. (If height is flexible, you can recruit Cate Blanchett. Good job, Thor: Ragnarok!) Swinton squeaks onto this list at 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters if you’re Narnian), but her character, Jadis the White Witch, stands somewhere between 7 and 8 feet tall, according to C.S. Lewis lore compilers. This is because — like her fellow U.K. citizens, Professor Rubeus Hagrid and model Sophie Dahl — she is half giant. (The other half is djinn!)
Playing up her character as “the ultimate white supremacist” — tall, pale and so blonde her hair is white — Swinton’s White Witch cuts an imposing figure guaranteed to scare children, all while teaching them the importance of fighting Nazis. Although the fantasy epic was cut short mid-series after disappointing returns, Swinton — who relished the role — holds out hope she’ll wield a wand again one day in The Magician’s Nephew.
‘Rocky IV’ (1985)
Model Brigitte Nielsen got her film break in the titular role of 1985’s Red Sonja, but her golden tresses were hidden in red for that role. It wasn’t till autumn of that year that audiences saw her hair au natural… ish as the imposing Ludmilla Vobet Drago, wife and number one fan of boxing demigod Ivan Drago. Her icy good looks contrasted with her facade of warm manners, a dichotomy she would capitalize on further with a villainous role in Beverly Hills Cop II and as a neo-fascist, racist mayoral candidate in 1992’s Mission of Justice. Seriously, why does society look at a woman with the proportions of an art-deco relief and immediately assume she’s naturally a cold-blooded killer?
In real life, Nielsen has repeatedly gone on record as being proud of her height (6-foot-1) and seems to view it as a challenge of character to strong and confident men. “Men ask me to dance, but when I stand up, they start to back off, saying: ‘Maybe some other time,’” her IMDB page quotes her as saying. “That’s when I grab ’em and say: ‘There’s no time like here and now, fella.’”
Fun facts: Nielsen also starred in 1999’s She’s Too Tall, for which she conceived the story, and once modeled as the sensational She-Hulk when Marvel Comics was trying to drum up some Hollywood interest.
‘Kill Bill’ (2003)
Depending upon whom you believe, Thurman is either 5-foot-11 or 6 feet even, but it doesn’t matter, because The Bride is a towering tornado of terror either way. At least Ms. Beatrix Kiddo isn’t a fascist racist like half the villains above. In fact, Thurman told IGN that while “the character is very much like a steel rod,” director Quentin Tarantino helped her “to bring her humanity to the situation.” She also told the folks at Cannes that the role continues to gratify her, based on the number of women who have told her that it inspired them to make a change in their lives, “Whether they were feeling oppressed or struggling or had a bad boyfriend or felt badly about themselves, that film released in them some survival energy that was helpful.”
‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (2012)
Nobody can deliver a smackdown like Jane Lynch, whose cruel and unusual putdowns on Glee would have more than qualified her to voice gruff video game character Sgt. Calhoun even if they weren’t doppelgängers (the resemblance is so close that Lynch once handily cosplayed as Calhoun).
An austere leader, Calhoun has been emotionally unavailable since the Cy-Bugs killed her man. As Lynch explained to MTV, “She doesn’t trust [Fix-It Felix] or want him around. It reminds her too much of the softness that is inside her, and she has vowed to never feel vulnerable again… but he wins her over.” While it’s difficult to pin an actual height to a character whose height is relative to game design, on hi-def screens she may be as tall as 400 pixels.
‘S.W.A.T.: Under Siege’ (2017)
This film has the titles of two other action films, but that’s just because the action inherent in Michael Jai White cannot be contained by a lone vehicle. The “defend the compound” story also stars the 5-foot-11, flaxen-haired Adrianne Palicki, who tends to go brunette when called to crush some villainy in film (see: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Red Dawn, John Wick). If, for some weird reason, you need to see her hand out pain with her natural hair color, this is the film for you. But then go watch John Wick again, because that’s the one where she hands out pain like it’s Halloween candy.
‘Galaxy Quest’ (1999)
Q: What’s the best Star Trek film?
A: Galaxy Quest, for all time.
Sigourney Weaver, that ass-kicker of aliens, is all of a quarter-inch under 6 feet, but her character’s high bouffant and thick-soled boots (for kicking all the alien ass!) put her over the hump. According to Starburst magazine, Weaver heard about the project and asked her agent why she hadn’t gotten an audition. The reason, she learned, was that she was a sci-fi legend and the producers wanted actors who weren’t associated with the genre. But then they realized they had alien ass to kick, and who’s going do that, Tony Shaloub?
The actress’s trademark brown curls were buried in a blonde wig to play Gwen DeMarco and her Galaxy Quest-within-a-Galaxy Quest character Tawny Madison. “Blondes definitely have more fun,” she recalled to MTV. “I loved being a starlet. I miss my breasts, I miss my blond hair, I miss my insecurity.”
Co-star Tim Allen recalls it a little more fearfully: “I kept looking at her, and she is remarkably attractive, sexy and funny at the same time but too tall for me.”
‘The Force Awakens’ (2015)
We can only that pray Captain Phasma takes off that helmet in The Last Jedi to reveal 6-foot-3 Gwendoline Christie, aka the blond hightower Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones. The good (read: evil) captain herself is 6-foot-7, and while her hair color remains a mystery for now, at least that extra-shiny helmet is keeping her head platinum, if not actually blonde.
‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ (2015)
Rising star Elizabeth Debicki played a stylish and statuesque supervillain in Victoria Vinciguerra. With a height somewhere between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-3— sources vary — the Australian actress brings a slithery, slinky potency to her half of an Italian power couple using their wealth as shipping magnates to build a nuclear bomb for escaped Nazis to reinvigorate the Third Reich. (A neo-fascist in a list like this? What are the odds?)
As you might surmise, Debicki told Impulse Gamer, “Victoria is sort of a psychopath,” adding, “I think that there’s also this slightly sadistic enjoyment she gets out of what she does.” But! She has a sense of humor and some great wit, so maybe the template is developing. Debicki also played a very, very golden blonde as Ayesha in this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where she cast shades of Metropolis over the cosmos as — wait for it — a severe authoritarian type.
‘Die Hard’ (1988)
Say what you will about Alexander Godonuv’s cold-blooded German killer Karl, but at least he only pretended to be a neo-Nazi (or Volksfrei, same diff) so he could be the blond bearer of the bearer bonds that his criminal crew is after.