Tessa Thompson grew up in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. Her father is singer Marc Anthony Thompson and the founder of the music collective, Chocolate Genius, Inc. Thompson’s interest in acting started early and she performed in school plays. In college, she majored in cultural anthropology but also took courses in acting. Her professional debut came playing in a Shakespeare production of The Tempest in 2002, and in 2003, she won a theatre award from the NAACP for her role as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans. Her first tv appearance came in 2005 on Cold Case, and she also landed a feature film role in When a Stranger Calls. Thompson has gone on to act in various stage, tv, and film productions, including being cast as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and appearing in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. She has been a member of the soul band Caught A Ghost and contributed to the Creed and Creed II soundtracks. Thompson has millions of followers on social media. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 120 lbs.
Tessa Thompson’s Diet
To get in superhero shape, Thompson had to eat like one. That meant a lot of lean protein, veggies and tons of water. She put on 15 pound of lean muscle mass for Thor through a combination of diet and exercise. Although she said she couldn’t quite keep up with fellow actor Chris Hemsworth, she did her level best. Left to her own devices, Thompson gravitates toward healthy, wholesome foods like nuts, avocados, fruit and kombucha.
- Low-Medium Fat 15% 15%
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
Eat Like a Superhero
When getting muscular is your goal, the diet is pretty simple: eat lots of lean protein and vegetables, along with a few complex carbs. It isn’t complicated, but it can get repetitive.
Snack Your Way Through The Day
Rather than sit down and eat a big meal, Thompson prefers to graze on things like almonds, avocado toast, and grapefruit.
Fat Is Good For You
Fat gets a bad rap, but there’s a big difference in the kind you get from fast food and the fat that occurs naturally in nuts, olives and avocados. Natural fats also satisfy, which is a good way to prevent bingeing.
Fermented Foods Are Your Friend
Thompson loves her kombucha, which is rich in antioxidants and probiotics, boosting health inside and out. The probiotics aid digestion which strengthens your immune system, while the antioxidants detoxify the liver and beautify your skin.
What to Eat
Whole Grain Bread
What to Avoid
Thompson on eating like Chris Hemsworth
‘I certainly tried, but I couldn’t, actually.’
Thompson on Her Eating Habits
‘I snack (or graze, really) throughout the morning into the afternoon.’
Thompson on Almonds
‘I eat almonds professionally.’
Tessa Thompson’s Fitness Routine
Pack On the Muscle
Thompson gained 15 lbs. of muscle to play the role of Valkyrie. She says she really liked being on par with the other actors in Thor, such as Chris Hemsworth.
Sound Mind in a Sound Body
While Thompson says it was great to look the part, what really helped her get into the role was feeling strong on the inside.
Thompson works out 3-6 days a week depending on her schedule.
Thompson mixes up her cardio. She likes to take classes at Pop Physique, and says it can totally reshape your body if you stick to it.
Full Body Training
Thompson devotes at least 1 workout per week to a full-body routine.
Thompson also does at least 1 day of circuit training which increases strength while simultaneously providing cardio benefits.
A Tessa Thompson Routine
Full Body Work Out
Warm up: Stretch & jog 5-10 min.
Front squats: 10 reps x 3 sets
Arnold press: 10 reps x 3 sets
Push-ups (on knees or toes): 10 reps x 3 sets
Weighted step-ups: 10 reps x 3 sets
Leg raises: 25 reps x 3 sets
Plank: 60 sec x 3 sets
Skull crushers: 10 reps x 3 sets
Take cardio dance classes like Pop Physique, or go biking, hik-ing, swimming, or anything that gets your heart pumping.
Warm up: Stretch & jog 5-10 min.
Do 5 circuits of the following:
Pike push-ups: 15
Jump squats: 10
Do 3 rounds of the following:
Leg raises: 20
Reverse Superman hold: 10 sec
Thompson on Her Favorite Fitness Class
‘If you do Pop Physique often, it dramatically changes your body.’
Thompson on Getting in Shape to play in Thor
If I can do 10 reps of something, I never do 10. I do five….I don’t go to failure. I don’t believe in going to failure. What I think you’re best off doing is less repetitions but more often….There’s no reason in nature why you would go to failure. Why would you go to failure in nature? You wouldn’t!
Thompson on Gaining Muscle for Her Role as Valkyrie:
‘Yeah, it was a lot for me.’
Thompson on Valkyrie’s Appearance
‘I like the idea that she can just be ripped, like Valkyrie in the comics.’
Tessa Thompson’s Supplements
Tessa Thompson has not shared much when it comes to her supplement choices. Below are supplements that may help benefit anyone on a similar diet.
If you want to get superhero ripped, protein is a must. Protein builds lean muscle, provides endurance during workouts and speeds post-exercise recovery.
Creatine is another go-to for those looking to build muscle. It also increases power and endurance.
Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that delays muscle fatigue, perfect for intense workouts like Thompson’s.
Magnesium is an essential mineral many people are deficient in, but it’s super important: magnesium not only helps you handle high-intensity exercise, it also helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
Joe Rogan takes Vitamin D3 daily which can help with heart health, bone strength, reducing cancer risk, and mood improvement.
A fat burner is another smart move because it doesn’t matter how many muscles you have if they’re hidden under a layer of chub.
Tessa Thompson’s Lifestyle
Just Add Salt
Thompson enjoys a nice bath to relax and unwind, and she adds salts to her suds. Epson salts are a great way to remove soreness from muscles and add important electrolytes like magnesium to your system.
As a kid, Thompson and her dad would film their adventures hunting for lizards in the Hollywood hills.
Thompson, like her father, is a singer and songwriter. She appeared and sang in the Creed franchise.
Blazing a Trail
Thompson is very proud that her character Valkyrie is MCU’s first LGBTQ superhero, just like herself.
Thompson co-wrote an open letter to Hollywood demanding changes be made in the entertainment industry, including investing in anti-racist content.
Thompson on Baths
‘I’m a big bath person. Adding salts to the tub is a great way to relax.’
Thompson on Lifting Her Spirits
‘When I’m feeling down, I listen to my father’s band, Chocolate Genius Inc. It reminds me of home.’
Thompson on Fashion
‘Fashion is a funny thing to talk about. I think what you wear is definitely an extension of you, but I also think it’s totally arbitrary.’
Thompson on Making Choices
‘I’ve realized that when you are aiming to create a real body of work, you are as much defined by the things you don’t do as by the things you do.’
Thompson on Being Non-Binary
‘I’m someone that likes to not think too binary about human qualities.’
Thompson on Media
‘Media truly has the power to create and shift culture.’