MAN OF THE YEAR

CHRIS HEMSWORTH

GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. - WORDS MIKE CHRIS­TENSEN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY DOUG INGLISH STYLING BRAD HOMES

IT’S DIF­FI­CULT TO RE­MAIN IM­PAR­TIAL WHEN WRIT­ING ABOUT CHRIS HEMSWORTH.

Proud Aussie, ta­lented surfer, dot­ting dad, char­i­ta­ble, grounded, funny, suc­cess­ful. The guy is Thor, for Norse’s sake. He’s as good as fault­less, hence the in­abil­ity to pen sen­tences even a lit­tle ob­jec­tive. Still, we can but try. On Oc­to­ber 1, he, the god of thun­der and good looks, was up in the MCG heav­ens – fists clenched, bi­ceps flexed, lungs coarse, cel­e­brat­ing with his par­ents, brother Liam, and tens of thou­sands of Western Bull­dogs fans. His team had just achieved the im­prob­a­ble – claim­ing the AFL grand fi­nal tro­phy af­ter a 62-year drought. “An un­be­liev­able day – one I didn’t think I’d ever ex­pe­ri­ence with my fam­ily,” says Hemsworth with a grin, as GQ’S fashion as­sis­tant slips calf­skin Fer­rag­amos on to his size 12s. If el­der brother Luke was con­spic­u­ous by his ab­sence, it’s be­cause he’s an Essendon fan. Be­sides, he was too busy telling Jimmy Kim­mel how he still makes Chris and Liam cry. But to­day, the mid­dle brother’s in heav­ens greener – the By­ron Bay hin­ter­land, a short me­an­der in­land from where he lives with his fam­ily (wife Elsa Pataky and chil­dren In­dia, four, and two-year-old twins Tris­tan and Sasha) and an­i­mals (at least three don­keys and a dog, but the pig had to go). A week on, it’s he who’s being cel­e­brated, as GQ’S 2016 Man of the Year. Chris Hemsworth ar­rives on time and on his own. Like a nor­mal per­son. He parks – he’s driven him­self fresh from a morn­ing gym ses­sion – opens the car door, gets out, closes the door, checks his pock­ets, then walks up to the house. Like a nor­mal per­son. Upon en­ter­ing, he pops his head around the cor­ner and says, po­litely – un­nec­es­sar­ily – “Hi, I’m Chris.” The sun’s out and con­ver­sa­tion flows nicely, pick­ing apart the perks of work­ing with Thor: Rag­narok’s Kiwi di­rec­tor, Taika Waititi, to dis­cussing co-star Tom Hid­dle­ston’s Gucci cam­paign and how it looks like it was shot at a grandma’s (“not mine, though”) house. Chat­ting to Hemsworth is like talk­ing to a brother – you tease one an­other (“You’re good at some things but hand­stands ain’t one of them”), cut the crap (“Hands down, I know all the Frozen songs”), then find agreement in nearly ev­ery topic (“If Usain Bolt ever came out as a cheat, I’d be dev­as­tated – that would be game over”). It’s straight­for­ward. Un­com­pli­cated. Reach­ing this point we won­der – where to now? Hemsworth must be bored of ar­ti­cles that wax lyri­cal about him. ‘Come on guys, what else have you got?’ we imag­ine him taunt­ing. Aside from the fact we have a friend whose Stafford­shire Bull Ter­rier is called Thor and is pet­ri­fied of thun­der, we’re un­sure.

And so, re­luc­tant to fur­ther the same dreamy su­perla­tives so of­ten used to frame him, we come to a so­lu­tion: to gather peers, friends and su­per­hero foes to dis­cuss what they think of the 33-year-old Aussie Hol­ly­wood star. What’s Chris Hemsworth like to work with, we ask? What’s he like as a man? And is he ac­tu­ally fault­less?

Ken­neth Branagh, di­rec­tor Thor

“My early re­la­tion­ship with Chris, when he was bulk­ing up for Thor, was char­ac­terised by his need to con­sume large amounts of pro­tein ev­ery 90 min­utes. It meant that his re­sponse to my most care­fully con­sid­ered act­ing notes was usu­ally to push a chicken into his mouth. This re­ally stopped me being over sen­si­tive about ac­tor’s re­ac­tions, but it now makes me very ner­vous around poul­try. Thanks to Chris Hemsworth, I’ll never be able to make a se­quel to Chicken Run. Apart from that, he’s a fan­tas­tic fella.”

Sam Claflin, co-star The Hunts­man: Win­ter’s War

“Chris Hemsworth is not only a man. He’s THE man. Not only your man of the year, but man of the men. My main man. Your main man. THE main man. Not su­per­man. Not bat­man. But a Mar­vel man. A mar­vel­lous man. Thor, man. Man, oh man – to be half the man that man is. I lit­er­ally AM half the man. He’s a man moun­tain. I’d have to climb over man-sized men to be­come the man that man is. Man of the year. Man of the bloody cen­tury. Man of men. A Hemsworth man.”

Lynne Mc­granger, co-star Home and Away

“He’s de­light­ful and very like­able and I re­mem­ber being stuck, al­ways, by his voice – there’s this lovely tim­bre to it. And he’s ded­i­cated, he al­ways knew his lines and he stud­ied, from a young age, with a vo­cal coach and a drama coach and never, ever as­sumed he was go­ing to get any­where be­cause of his looks, and I don’t think he was that con­scious of them. What you see is what you get – a guy who’s a nat­u­ral tal­ent, hum­ble, hard work­ing and a fam­ily man who’s very close to his broth­ers and his mum and dad.”

El­liot Costello, co-founder Pol­ished Man char­ity

“Chris Hemsworth is a true Pol­ished Man. He rep­re­sents ev­ery­thing our cam­paign stands for. I couldn’t be prouder that Chris has taken a strong stand to sup­port the one in five chil­dren glob­ally who face vi­o­lence. It’s in­cred­i­ble the im­pact some­one as loved in­ter­na­tion­ally as Chris can have on a so­cial ini­tia­tive like YGAP’S Pol­ished Man cam­paign. Out of the good­ness of his heart, he changed the game for us by post­ing a pho­to­graph to his In­sta­gram fol­low­ers with a painted nail to raise aware­ness about vi­o­lence against chil­dren. We’re so incredibly grate­ful to Chris. He is a shin­ing ex­am­ple how high-pro­file, pos­i­tive role mod­els can help cre­ate a bet­ter world for us all.”

Daniel Brühl, co-star Rush

“I en­joyed ev­ery sin­gle day work­ing with ‘Hem­swurst’! He is such a won­der­ful and gifted ac­tor and a kind, hum­ble and laid­back man. Con­grats my su­per-sexy-schnitzel Aussie friend.”

Mick Fan­ning, world cham­pion surfer

“I met Chris for the first time in Hawaii. As Aussies, all the surfers used to play touch footy on the beach in the arvo and Chris was stay­ing with a friend there so he came on down. See­ing this huge hu­man run­ning around, I thought he was ac­tu­ally a footy player. I was a lit­tle timid to run at him in case he was, and steered clear un­til af­ter the game. We got chat­ting and I asked his oc­cu­pa­tion and he said, very humbly, he was an ac­tor and had just fin­ished Thor. We’ve all seen the suc­cess and the star­dom that he’s reached but, catch­ing up with him now, he’s ex­actly the same as that day in Hawaii. Hum­ble, down to earth and best of all a great fam­ily man. He’s an icon that I’m sure all Aus­tralians are proud of and want to have a beer with.”

Jes­sica Chas­tain, co-star The Hunts­man: Win­ter’s War

“What’s crazy about Chris is not only that he is prob­a­bly the most charm­ing man in cinema, with charisma up the wa­zoo, but he also hap­pens to be a good per­son. He’s got a great sense of hu­mour and does a dead-on im­per­son­ation of Ricky Gervais from The Of­fice – one of my favourite shows. When Chris first found out I was ve­gan, it gave him am­ple am­mu­ni­tion to tease me re­lent­lessly. Take af­ter take, he’d taunt that I was cold be­cause I didn’t eat meat. If he ever had doubt that I knew it was in jest, he’d say, ‘I’m only jok­ing. My mum’s veg­e­tar­ian.’ He was so con­cerned about my feel­ings; he didn’t want to ever be in a po­si­tion where he thought he could make some­one feel bad. He’s the anti-bully.”

Natalie Port­man, co-star Thor

“Chris is so ta­lented, su­per fun and incredibly kind. He has re­mained the same won­der­ful and grounded per­son that he was be­fore all of his pro­fes­sional suc­cesses.”

Mark Ruf­falo, co-star Thor: Rag­narok

“Chris is one of those rare tal­ents who’s at once phys­i­cally perfect while at the same time being truly gifted. We had such a good time work­ing to­gether on Thor 3. Ev­ery day was an ex­per­i­ment and ad­ven­ture and if we weren’t push­ing our­selves out past our com­fort zone we weren’t re­ally en­joy­ing our­selves. Chris is one of the most gen­er­ous and com­mit­ted ac­tors. He can be very funny and very se­ri­ous in turns and has a huge range be­cause of this.”

Rob Bry­don, co-star The Hunts­man: Win­ter’s War

“Con­grat­u­la­tions Chris, this couldn’t have gone to a nicer man. Work­ing with you on The Hunts­man was one of my most en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ences. Stand­ing next to you in the shal­low end of a swim­ming pool re­mains one of my worst.”

Taika Waititi, di­rec­tor Thor: Rag­narok

“Chris is cute, in­no­cent, cud­dly, and an ab­so­lute sweet­heart – like a koala, but with­out the chlamy­dia.”

Tom Hid­dle­ston, co-star Thor

“One morn­ing on the set of Thor: Rag­narok, I watched Chris zero in on an im­por­tant scene be­tween Thor and Loki with ra­zor-sharp fo­cus and com­mit­ment. The scene re­quired a lot of nu­ance, but he wanted to hit the bull’s-eye and shoot it quickly, be­cause he had to be off-set by lunchtime in or­der to make it to fa­ther-daugh­ter day at school in the af­ter­noon. That’s a Man of the Year if ever I saw one. Hard work­ing, a much more gifted ac­tor than he’s ever given credit for, re­spect­ful and kind to the crew, hon­ourable to the re­spon­si­bil­ity of car­ry­ing a huge movie on his in­sanely broad shoul­ders, but also a Dad who knows he has to be there for his daugh­ter. As he’d say: ‘Leg­end’.”

Matt Da­mon, ac­tor and friend

“Chris is a great friend – and he’s a proper surfer, but his brother Luke is even bet­ter. I’m nowhere near as good – I would get killed if I tried to surf with those boys.” So, it ap­pears he might just be fault­less. Huge con­grat­u­la­tions, Chris. En­joy the award, though a word of warn­ing – watch out for Messieurs Claflin, Waititi and Ms Port­man. They’re big­ger fans than us, and far worse at re­main­ing im­par­tial.

Black wool tuxedo, $4950, and white cot­ton shirt, $1250, both by Dolce & Gab­bana; black silk ‘Petit Damier’ tie, $260, by Louis Vuit­ton; black leather calf­skin shoes, $995, by Salvatore Fer­rag­amo.

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