Christopher Hemsworth—better known as Chris Hemsworth in the entertainment industry—is an American actor and producer. Although “Star Trek” marked his Hollywood debut, it was his lead role in the blockbuster superhero movie “Thor” that made him a household name internationally.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is primarily recognized for his role as the Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor Odinson. For the second film of the famous superhero, Hemsworth had the chance to work with the Game of Thrones director, Alan Taylor.
Chris Hemsworth on working with Alan Taylor as well as his experience playing a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Alan Taylor is a director known for his work “Game of Thrones.” He also happened to be directing “Thor: The Dark World.” According to Hemsworth, working with him is “awesome.”
“I love the way he adds an incredibly organic element to the fantastical world of Thrones, and I think that’s what Thor could benefit from. It’s grounded in reality, no matter how mythical or science-fiction-like it becomes,” he said. “There’s a truth to it all. Certainly, working with him now, you can see he doesn’t want Thor or the Asgardians to seem like some distant race or god-like. He still wants them to be relatable.”
The Avengers is undoubtedly a cinematic powerhouse and have already enjoyed tremendous success. The actor gushed over his experience being a part of such a phenomenon, calling it great and expressing his pride in being a part of it.
“I think, firstly, you want to make a film that you’re proud of and you enjoyed making. For me, that’s what it’s about. Secondly, you want people to see it. So to be reaching that kind of an audience is hugely satisfying. Especially when young kids come up, and they’ve seen the movie 10 times. As a kid, I used to do that, and to think there’s a whole generation out there now looking at something you’ve been a part of… it’s a special dream.”
Speaking of being a kid, everyone is aware that every MCU hero is based on a comic book. Since he didn’t read comic books much as a child, Hemsworth himself never had the opportunity to acquire any, but he was definitely familiar with other characters outside the one he plays, Thor.
“I didn’t really read comic books as a kid. The ones that were most familiar to me were probably The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Batman – the obvious ones. I didn’t know much about Thor until I got the part,” he stated.
Regarding his co-stars, the actor talked about some of the events that took place on the set of the movie, one of which was the entire group having a good time and laughing.
“Most of the time, we’re all on set together, and it just became a laugh for all of us. We sort of fed off [the energy of] each other, and before you know it, someone has to step in and say, “Come on, we’re trying to shoot a movie here!” Robert Downey Jr obviously has an incredible sense of humor and wit about him, which you see in all his characters. He’s like that in real life. You’re playing catch-up; always 10 steps behind what he’s saying. All those guys I learned something from and admired.”
The preparation Chris Hemsworth went through to play “Thor” and the changes it brought about in his life
The success Chris Hemsworth had from portraying the role of Thor, the God of Thunder, was something he had not anticipated at all, but he found this particular change in his acting career to be the most fulfilling.
“The biggest change, to be honest – I mean, yeah, people recognize you – but the most rewarding thing is being able to pick and choose who I want to work with. You have the opportunity to try and get in contact with people that you might not have had access to before. That’s what you want; you want freedom and choice in the industry and anything you do in life.”
Hemsworth previously portrayed a huntsman in the Snow White movie, and there were instances when he had to be inebriated during the scene. When questioned about the approach he used to perform the duty correctly, he stated that he would spin around before takes.
He remarked: “I was asked, ‘Do you have any prep?’ and I said, ‘Not really.’ Then I sort of jokingly added, ‘Sometimes I’d spin around in circles to make myself feel drunk.’ But it’s the one scene. I wouldn’t say it’s a ritual by any means.”
Of course, he also made preparations for portraying “Thor,” including working with a vocal coach to represent the role accurately.
“[For Thor], there’s a lot of ongoing reading and rereading of the script. I have a guy that I work with a lot who’s a voice coach, but also far more than that. We pull scripts apart and go into who these people are; his whole attitude of approaching a character is, instead of trying to mimic something or work out technically how you do that, it’s more why does someone speak like that. What’s in your personality or nature, or your past that has molded you into sounding like this? That then raises a whole lot of questions about the character – which is great. You do that all the way through the film; even afterwards, it’s hard to switch off sometimes.”
In terms of how he did settle on the very proper “English” accent for Thor, he explained: “For whatever reason, it just seems to fit that world. Probably for no other reason than that it’s the way it’s been done in history. We associate Shakespearean speak [with god-like beings] because so many British actors have done it over the years. It resonates with the audience. Also, we had Anthony Hopkins, who is Welsh but has similar tones. I certainly couldn’t play him as Australian because people would think, ‘That’s Crocodile Dundee!’”
Chris Hemsworth discusses his relationship with his actors-brothers, Liam and Luke Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth has two brothers, Luke and Liam, who also happened to be great actors like him as well. The likelihood that the three of them would compete for roles, accolades, or overall success is high, given how competitive the Hollywood industry is. However, this is not the case for them as they are all supportive of one another. If ever there’s a competition between the three of them, it’s considered healthy competition.
“We have a healthily competitive relationship in everything – as brothers do. Whereas with [acting], all three of us are so aware of the instability of it all and how much is up to chance. It’s far more of a supportive relationship [we have in acting] than backyard football, or surfing, or whatever else we do in our free time.”
Although his family undoubtedly had a significant impact on his decision to become an actor, according to the producer, it was this specific person who first got him thinking about it.
“I’ve always had a love of film and storytelling in general, but I never thought seriously about acting until my older brother [Luke] did it,” he disclosed. “So, probably not. He definitely kicked it off and was the catalyst to my interest in professional acting.”
Liam, his brother, reportedly also went through the casting process to play “Thor.” However, as he had already said, they were never in competition with one another; instead, they were there to support each other. As a result, there is absolutely no tension between them for the part.
“It was never at the same time and, to be honest, we’ve auditioned for a lot of different things and a lot of the same parts over the years,” he clarified. “That [time] was strange because it came right down to the wire.”
“I was no longer involved in the audition process – I was set aside. It was Liam or a couple of other guys who were going to get it, so I was helping him run through the stuff. Then I got a call, and suddenly I was back in it, and Liam was helping me! So it was a bit of a team effort.”
Chris Hemsworth on juggling his acting career and fatherhood
Less than a year into their relationship, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, who had already welcomed three children into their life, decided to be married in 2010. Given that they are both actors, balancing work and parenthood at the same time is challenging; even Hemsworth said that it’s tough.
“When you’re all in one place, it’s like a normal job. The hours can be inconsistent, but at least when you come home at night, the family’s there. The toughest thing is the press tours and the travel, which fortunately is only a couple of times a year for a couple of weeks at a time,” he remarked.
“So the time I’m away from them can be minimal. What will become harder is if my wife and I are both working at the same time in different countries – that’s what we’re going to try not to do. But, sometimes, there’s an opportunity that arises for both of you which you can’t say no to. At the moment, we’re lucky; it’s early days for us anyway.”
Chris Hemsworth talks about the role he plays in “Rush” and the production process
Chris Hemsworth is well recognized for his experience in television, especially soap operas, and he claims that this background was a tremendous learning experience that has influenced the way he approaches projects now.
“It was a great training ground. The conditions are tougher than a film set, where you have a lot more rehearsal time, a lot more prep and discussion, and the scripts have been worked on for longer. Whereas TV, in my experience, was incredibly fast-paced and you’re kind of thrown in the deep end. I credit a lot of my time in TV with whatever ability I might have now.”
Aside from working with “Game of Thrones” director Alan Taylor, he also worked with director Ron Howard for the film “Rush.” While he didn’t say anything about his experience working with him, he did share that he got a hands-on driving experience during the production.
“We had a month’s worth before we started shooting – you know, learning how to drive these cars. They’re Formula 1 cars but replicas of cars from the ’70s; very different from modern Formula 1 cars but still incredibly tricky to drive. We were warned constantly about going too quick, but the adrenaline junkie in most of us takes over at times, and we pushed a little more than we should. It got to the point where I was thinking, ‘Whoa, if this goes wrong, I’m not in a good position’ They’re like go-karts on steroids.”
He further talked about his character in the film, saying, “I fell in love with the character the more I researched him and his world. There was the negative side to his playboy lifestyle, which I think people admired from an entertainment point of view.”
“I suspect there were also a lot of people who didn’t agree with his lifestyle. What I liked about him was the childlike quality in him. He was someone who loved to experience life and did everything to the fullest. I admire his commitment and passion for things. On the track, nothing was left on the sidelines.”
“Also, [I admire] his attitude of not wanting to conform to what the brands and the Formula 1 industry said he should act or dress or speak like,” he continued. “He wanted to be himself and not fall into the box or be restricted by the industry. Whereas now, [Formula 1] has become very clinical.”
“Ron kept saying, ‘The ’70s were when the driving was dangerous, and the sex was clean, but now it’s the other way around.’ That was a joke on set. We watched a lot of B-roll footage of [Hunt] in interviews, and he’s just one of those people that owned his environment. He was incredibly charismatic and obviously fun to be around. I really enjoyed playing that part, and finding out about him was fascinating.”
Additionally, the actor claimed that of all the roles he played in all of the movies and television shows he appeared in, James Hunt from the movie “Rush” was the one he could most easily relate with.
“I think I relate to – and make sure you put this down – James Hunt, but not his philandering ways. Not in that way, be very careful that you say that [laughs]! What I admire and hope I have is that passion; that need to live life and make the most of things.”
Hemsworth’s body is another one of the things people talked about him to the point that it even became a searched topic on Google. So when asked if his body somehow hinders his choice of roles, he answered, “It was nice to do the James Hunt movie because it wasn’t about that.”
It’s funny, you have one scene in the movie [Thor] where you have your shirt off, then you do a press tour, and it’s like, “So you spend the whole time in the film with your shirt off.” It was all of 10 seconds. So it can overshadow things. It is what it is, and that was what that character called for. But no, there’s no complaint about it. It becomes a challenge because you then have to be smart about what you pick after that; you want to show range.”
“I don’t just want to do action films. Doing Rush, I think, was the best experience I ever had because it was far more intimate and character-based. It wasn’t about special effects. That was why I got into acting because I’m interested in people’s personalities,” he added.
The reason behind why Chris Hemsworth avoids social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter
We are all aware of the negative effects that social media can have on an individual. Given how quickly false information spreads there, it is just as damaging to celebrities as it is to regular individuals. Chris Hemsworth chose to steer clear of it all for that reason.
“I think there’s a danger of being overexposed with that stuff. The mystery of who you are is what keeps people interested in wanting to see you on the screen,” he explained.
“Also, it’s easier for them to believe you as that character if they don’t know too much about you. It’s hard not to be overexposed these days with the Internet, and especially when you do a tour for something like The Avengers or Snow White, where you’re contracted to do an incredible amount of press. Besides, I’d rather be hanging out with my family than updating to people I don’t know about what I had for lunch. Also, there are so many fake ones out there, which is pretty frustrating.”
As he doesn’t have anything to scroll in his free time, the actor decided to spend it with his daughter and do adventurous things with his wife, Elsa.
“At the moment, hang out with my little baby. It’s fascinating watching her; every day, there’s something different. Now she’s becoming more and more aware of the world, and that’s incredible. Also, I surf, train, and see movies: regular stuff. My wife and I are pretty outdoorsy and adventurous; we like to keep moving.”