Shots By Shinobi Cosplay Spotlight: God of Thunder UK

I saw this guy all over Instagram named @godofthunderuk at placed near me and I just always managed to miss him.  He was the best Thor cosplay I had ever seen.  It was a must that we work together to create some amazing images.  Late last year after we talked he invited me to take part in a Thor battle shoot as a photographer.  Even though it was freezing it was an amazing experience with an awesome experience.  The God of Thunder also asked me to join the North East Avengers (@northeastavengers) to be the Black Panther of the group.  I couldn’t say no and if I did I would have regretted it.  These group of people have been great and welcome me to their world of Marvel.  Keep reading to get to know James Tuplin a.k.a Thor and to see what Chris Hemsworth thinks of his cosplay. 

What got you into cosplaying?

I went to my first ever con back in November 2014 at Wrexham, the only reason I went was because one of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was there and I had to meet him. Me and my mate went in morph suits but only lasted 10 minutes to the embarrassment of wearing spandex and not really knowing anything about cons. We was completely out our comfort zones with it, so we soon changed into regular clothes. We stayed to watch the cosplay masquerade. We saw the awesome costumes and it was from then I wanted to get into cosplaying, and get myself a costume to feel proud in.

How long have you been cosplaying?

Coming up to 3 years now. I first suited up for a full con at MCM Manchester in 2015, I got a Thor costume made from a local costume maker for £40 and thought it was the best thing ever. Doing MCM as my first cosplaying con really opened my eyes to full world of cosplay and the vast amount of craftsmanship that goes into people’s costumes. So I left the con wanting to improve and get a better suit.

Can you see yourself doing this for the next 10 years?

I can’t see myself doing this on a regular basis for the next 10 years that all depends on what comes of it, but I would like to think I have my own children by then and they can experience comic con and live life for the day of their favourite character. (Which will be Thor)

Why did you decide on Thor?

I get asked this question quite a lot and I can never seem to answer it, I vaguely remember someone I had the look of him back at my first comic con in Wrexham, bearing in mind I had short hair at that this point. I looked into the character a bit more and the more I saw/read I began to really like this character. So here we are nearly 4 years since that con and I have grown into the character.

How do you feel when people tell you they love your cosplay or when kids see you as a hero?

I will always say the best reactions and interactions you get are from your everyday families at cons. Kids know everything about everything they will ask you sorts of questions and you can’t slip up because they already know the answer, but you can see it in their eyes they believe it is who you are. That gives me the biggest buzz at a Comic Con. Compliments on my cosplay are always nice to hear as well because behind the suit there has been a lot of hard work from various people like Jez Hunt at Ancestor Leathercrafts who made my current armour, so it’s great to see their work on show getting the recognition it deserves.

Do you have a cosplay crush? (A specific character not actual person)

I do love a good Wonder Woman cosplay.

Do you have a cosplay pet peeve?

People always wanting to grab Mjolnir and then slamming to the floor because they’re “not worthy”. I don’t mind people wanting to hold it and have a look but the hammers are not cheap and some people at cons don’t have respect for people’s props.

If you could go anywhere in the world how to cosplay where would it be?

I really want to cosplay in the states. I want to take the costume on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and also to San Diego Comic Con.

How was your 1st convention?

It was definitely an eye opener into the world of cosplay and overall comic cons in themselves.

How have you improved since then?

I have improved since my first suit by spending more money on the costume, and getting it tailor made for me. I have learnt more about the character so I can portray them better and I have upgraded on my props. I have tried to evolve with each con I go to.

What is the best part of cosplaying? (Designing, building or the actual con?)

Due to me not making the costumes, I have to say the best part of cosplaying is the actual con. You do all your prep ensure everything is correct and you have everything you need and the build up to the con is fantastic, as you get really excited and nervous to put on the suit. Once at the con the best part of the day is interaction with the little kids, they are all dressed up as their favourite heroes and when they see you they look at you as if you are the real thing and the conversations can go on forever.

Do you think people should be familiar with the people they cosplay? 

No not at all, it all depends on what you are doing cosplay for. Everyone has their own goals with their cosplays and people should do whatever makes them happy and if they are proud of their cosplay that’s all that matters.

When I think of great cosplayers the best ones bring the character to life and that is what you do.  You seem to adopt the spirit of the Thor.  Is it important to you to be in character?

Thank you. For me yes it is important for me to be in character because I love to bring the whole image to life and I have been invited to events where I am their Thor so being and staying in character is a most. Being embraced in the character is what makes it for me, not just wearing a costume.

What is cosplaying to you?

To me cosplaying is just an excuse to dress up as your favourite character, hanging out with your friends that have similar interest and then having a few beers with them afterwards. It all about the fun with friends and escaping from the stresses of work for a weekend.

What has been your best cosplay experience?

Doing the opening weekend for Thor Ragnarok at Leicester Square Empire Cinema, last October was the best experience I have had. Having to get on the tube in full costume with my cosplay brother Chris Kemp (Loki), to Leicester Square was an experience in itself. The reaction we got whilst at the opening was fantastic and it is good to say that we did an opening weekend on the busiest piece of pavement in London on a Friday night.

I couldn’t imagine you cutting your hair.  I feel like that it also separates you apart from other Thors.  Would you ever consider cutting your hair and sporting the eye patch like the current Thor?

At times the temptation to cut my hair have been strong but I have always wanted long hair so for the time being the hair is staying because it’s personal for outside of cosplay as well. I have found versions of Thor with long hair and eye patch so who knows that might happen in the future.

Another thing that separates you from other Thors is your fitness.  How do you stay in shape?

I am not in the shape I would like to be nor the shape I use to be in when I was a gym instructor. I try to eat the right things but I love my food, especially burgers. I have changed my training up now I workout every other day, and my workouts consist of compound movements to start the session and then followed by supersets to keep the heart rate up.

What are top 5 Marvel movies?

In no particular order my favourite Marvel films are; Iron Man, Captain America The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1, The Avengers and Thor Ragnarok.

What is your favorite moment from Thor Ragnarok?

The opening scene is my favourite moment, it is similar to that from the first Thor when fighting the Frost Giants. It shows you Thor and Mjolnir working as a duo, he doesn’t have to be holding Mjolnir for it to be affective, it acts like a second person. Plus the comical dialogue between Thor and Surtur sets the tone perfectly.

You and a bunch of the @northeastavengers were invited on stage with Anthony Mackie at Comic Con.  What was this like?

It was cool moment to meet another Avenger and have our photo with him.

How was the experience meeting Chris Hemsworth and did he approve?

This is moment that can’t really be put into words, to have your own personal moment with the guy you look up not only as the character you portray but as a human. He really is goals for being a husband and a dad. Yes he approved it said he had seen my Instagram and thought it was cool, he also signed my metal Mjolnir by saying ‘To James, You’re a better Thor than me’


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Check out the previous Cosplay Spotlights:

Shots by Shinobi Cosplay Spotlight: Ugo

Shots by Shinobi Cosplay Spotlight: Graceless Cosplay