Perhaps Chris Hemsworth should be done with it
and just add the God of Thunder as his middle name, so often is the word “Thor” inserted within his name in stories.
On October 26, Australia’s biggest male star will appear for the fifth time as the Norse god in cinematic form, this time in Thor: Ragnarok. Hemsworth himself nearly brought Brisbane to a standstill when the movie was partly filmed there last year. He’ll play Thor yet again in Avengers: Infinity War, planned to release next year.
And while it’s oft remarked that it is the role he was born to play – the intense blue eyes, the mesomorphic physique, the deep, sonorous, stentorian voice – Hemsworth may eventually want to be remembered for more than owning a comic-book hero on screen. But his success at playing the athletic, ‘age-appropriate’ role – he’s just turned 34 – undoubtedly transformed him from Home And Away staple to Hollywood A-lister in just a few short years. Made him so successful, in fact, he doesn’t even need to live in Los Angeles now, moving his actress wife Elsa Pataky and three young children back to Australia and the beachy life of Byron Bay on the NSW north coast in 2015.
Vanity Fair cover, People ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, Tourism Australia global ambassador, SNL host, TAG Heuer ambassador and the face of Boss Bottled’s new ‘Man of Today’ campaign – Hemsworth’s growing collection of off-screen accolades and roles are testament to his pull. Apart from the obvious physical assets, part of his undeniable attraction is his approachability and his determination to appear ‘normal’. Co-stars almost uniformly talk about what a pleasure he is to work with. He goes surfing with the locals at Lennox Point. He publicly declares his love for his wife. He joshes with his brothers Luke and Liam on social media, and tells the same tales on the chat show circuit
‘There are plenty of days where I’m like, I don’t want to fight anymore.’
of their rambunctious upbringing together in Victoria and Arnhem Land with undiminished relish each time he’s asked. He visits fangirl office workers in their cubicles for Ellen.
“I tried a lot of different things and had a different idea every week of what I wanted to do but the one thing I knew is that I wouldn’t settle for anything that didn’t make me truly happy,” Hemsworth told Karl Stefanovic for the Today Show earlier this year about his post-school ambitions. “I wanted to do something that I loved and this is it.
“I wanted to make movies, I wanted to come to Hollywood, I wanted to be part of things that inspire me, I wanted to exist in the fantasy world that books and movies created for me. But then there was the other side: you’re never going to do it, you’re never going to make it, it’s impossible.”
And despite telling in the past of how he was about to ditch Hollywood and head home after “everything stopped” following his appearance as George Kirk in JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot, Hemsworth did make it possible from that point on – Thor, The Cabin In The Woods, Snow White And The Huntsman and Rush.
It’s a stellar trajectory which he successfully took the piss out of in his parody American Express ad for Saturday Night Live – “I bounced around Hollywood for… daaaays,” he faux complains, before ending the piece with, “If a jacked Australian with a perfect face can make it, anyone can.”
“There’s still the fear, the anxiety that it could all end tomorrow,” he’s said. “That’s always in the back of my mind. It keeps me motivated. The fear keeps me hungry.”
It appears Chris Hemsworth has not much to fear at present. Apart from more Thor, there is Horse Soldiers to come, an Afghanistan-set, post-september 11 special forces flick in which his wife Elsa also stars. Clearly Hemsworth’s biggest challenge will be negotiating an onscreen life after playing comic book heroes. He’s demonstrated his considerable comedic chops in the aforementioned Saturday Night Live and also his turn as the dumb-but-pretty male secretary Kevin in the female Ghostbusters reboot last year, but does he have a Brad Pittlike The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or 12 Years A Slave in front of him?
He showed in In The Heart Of The Sea, where he shed his Thor physique for that of a half-starved sailor, that he can do the whole Method thing when required. Now he just needs the right roles.
“I am looking for that script,” he told news. com.au in 2015, “…there are plenty of days where I’m like, I don’t want to fight anymore.”
With an idyllic family life set up in one of Australia’s most beautiful locations, however, it’s almost equally easy to imagine Hemsworth bankrolling an early retirement with a few more blockbusters before turning into a bona fide mid-40s beach bum and maybe buying a north coast pub, John Cornell style.
“My wife and I talk about this all the time,” he told Today. “I want to go to work because that’s my career but I also want to be home with the family. There’s that, where is home? At the moment it’s Australia and I’ve gotta say, since moving back, it’s become tougher to go back to work.”
‘There’s still the fear, the anxiety that it could all end tomorrow.’