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The Thor: Ragnarok Actor Who Was Totally Baffled By His Own Cameo

For all its bombastic superhero pomp and hearty personal drama, Thor: Ragnarok was also an absolute laugh riot. That's largely thanks to the efforts of writer-director Taika Waititi, who brought his singular wit and flair for the dramatic to a franchise in dire need of fresh energy. In the end, Thor: Ragnarok not only a franchise-saving delight, but also one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Waititi also used Ragnarok to conjure some of the most memorable gags the MCU has yet seen — though none were quite as unforgettable as the play that the God of Thunder stumbles upon early in the film. Featuring hilarious cameos from Matt Damon (as Tom Hiddleston's Loki), Luke Hemsworth (as his kid brother Chris' Thor), and Sam Neill (as Anthony Hopkins' Odin), the theatrical re-shaping of Loki's narrative is easily the diamond in Ragnarok's comedic MCU crown. 

As it happens, the play has led to many questions about whether the veteran actors were actually portraying versions of themselves in the film, or were simply playing Asgardians who were depicting Thor, Loki, and Odin on stage (as the scene would suggest). In a recent interview with Collider, Neill was asked about the scene — and it seems even he isn't entirely sure what went on.

"I was completely baffled by so many things. I went with friends who sort of knew a bit more than me. I was like, 'Do you know what planet we're on at the moment? Is that Hopkins or was that Loki?' And they were explaining it — they said, 'You're in the film! Why do we have to explain it to you?' I said, 'Because I'm a bit lost. I'm truly lost here,'" Neill admitted with a laugh. "I shouldn't really confess to that. I should really know what's going on. It is a strange [scene] — it looks like Tony Hopkins, but it's not!"

Sadly, the cast of Thor: Ragnarok's play are likely not captives from Earth

Neill obviously had much bigger things on his mind while watching his Thor: Ragnarok cameo than whether he was playing a fictional version of himself or an Asgardian actor cast in the play by Loki, who's Odin disguise clearly confused Neill the most. But hey, if you're wondering how or why Neill might've been appearing in a play on Asgard, the theory goes that Loki kidnapped some of Earth's mightiest actors — Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, and Sam Neill — and put them to work in his own shamelessly self-aggrandizing theatrical work. 

Anyone who's followed Loki's twist-filled narrative since he first appeared in 2011's Thor can confirm said theory tracks on many levels. Loki has frequently displayed a lust for power and penchants for self-promotion and self-preservation. But as much as we'd all like to believe that drive led Loki to kidnap prominent actors from another planet in service of his self-indulgent art, it appears that's just not the case. Waititi explained to Radio Times that the famous faces in Thor: Ragnarok's play are famous solely for their work on the Asgardian stage. "If Loki was gonna write a play about his death, then he would want to get the most talented actors he could — the biggest stars of Asgardian theatre — to come and do this thing," Waititi said. 

Either way, it's nice to see Sam Neill getting another chance to flaunt his comedic chops after the typically reserved actor earned impressive laughs in Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Here's hoping Waititi enlists Neill for another scene-stealing cameo in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.