THOR IN A COMIC MO­MENT

An­other Marvel flick has in­spired Aussie star Chris Hemsworth to add a bit of hu­mour to his por­trayal of Thor in the new Avengers film

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - TIF­FANY BAKKER

Last year, Chris Hemsworth was kick­ing back watch­ing Guardians Of the Galaxy (2014’s mon­ster Marvel hit about a band of rag­tag oc­ca­sion­ally not-so­su­per su­per­heroes), when a thought struck him about his own godly on­screen al­ter ego, Thor.

The dude with the big ham­mer needed to lighten up.

“It made me re­alise that I def­i­nitely wanted to have more fun with Thor,” says Hemsworth, down the line from Los An­ge­les.

“I thought there was a bit of hu­mour in the first Thor film, and then we went way too earnest in the sec­ond one.

“Guardians Of the Galaxy was a re­ally good les­son in what au­di­ences want to see.

‘‘It showed that peo­ple buy into th­ese fan­tas­ti­cal worlds through hu­mour, not some godly god that no one can re­late to.”

Thor, of course, is back in the lat­est Avengers film, Age of Ul­tron, the se­quel to 2012’s box-of­fice bust­ing The Avengers.

Hemsworth be­lieves Joss Whe­don – he of Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer fame and the writer/direc­tor be­hind Ul­tron – nailed the bal­ance for Avengers fans want­ing to see the usual fan­tas­ti­cal el­e­ments of their beloved su­per­heroes, while adding in the minu­tiae of what makes them hu­man as well.

“Joss wants to un­der­stand what makes peo­ple tick and to get to the heart of th­ese char­ac­ters,” Hemsworth says.

“So to have th­ese larg­erthan-life per­son­al­i­ties, and to have some­one who wants to ground them, is what’s im­pres­sive about him and, ul­ti­mately, what makes th­ese films work. He’s look­ing at the smaller de­tails, which we can all re­late to.”

In Age of Ul­tron, Thor and his friends, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Cap­tain Amer­ica (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son), The Hulk (Mark Ruf­falo) and Hawk­eye (Jeremy Ren­ner), are up against Ul­tron, an AI-type robot (voiced by James Spader) who has been cre­ated by Tony Stark, but who goes berserk on a mis­guided quest to save mankind by destroying it.

This time around, 31-yearold Hemsworth felt much more at ease on the starstud­ded set.

“For me, the first film was very much like the first day of school,’’ the Aus­tralian says.

‘‘I had this crazy ner­vous en­ergy, wor­ry­ing about get­ting to know every­body, whereas this one felt like a high school re­u­nion, and just catch­ing up with old mates.

“There was an ease to it, which is a luxury, be­cause most of the time you have to force or fake an emo­tion with other ac­tors. But this was easy. We were very for­tu­nate.”

To get a good gauge on his pop­u­lar­ity in the US, you need look no fur­ther than his tak­ing of Peo­ple mag­a­zine’s Sex­i­est Man Alive ti­tle in 2014.

Hemsworth, though, wants to be thought of as more than just a bit of beef­cake.

He cred­its direc­tor Ron Howard with chang­ing in­dus­try and au­di­ence per­cep­tions about what he is ca­pa­ble of by cast­ing him as the late For­mula One driver James Hunt in 2013’s Rush.

“Ron’s kind of a ge­nius, and he brings some­thing else out in me that I’m thank­ful for,” says Hemsworth. “It’s nice to be able to defy ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Hemsworth and Howard will cap­i­talise on their some­thing spe­cial by re­unit­ing for In The Heart of the Sea, the true story of the sink­ing of the whale ship which in­spired Her­man Melville’s lit­er­ary clas­sic, Moby Dick. The film will be re­leased in De­cem­ber.

Hemsworth had to drop a ton of weight for the role. “It was ex­haust­ing,” he says. “In fact, los­ing the weight for that film was more ex­haust­ing than putting on the weight for Thor.”

Hemsworth says he is happy to keep swing­ing Thor’s ham­mer “as long as any­body wants me to”.

He en­joys Thor be­cause “it’s play­ing make-be­lieve, it’s living out child­hood fan­tasies, play­ing dress-ups and be­ing a su­per­hero’’.

In­deed, Hemsworth cred­its the birth of his three chil­dren (three-year-old daugh­ter In­dia Rose, and twin one-year-old sons Tris­tan and Sasha) for prompt­ing a nos­tal­gia for his own child­hood.

“It sounds like a cliche, but all of a sud­den you care about some­thing else more than your­self, which has been a very good thing for me,” he says.

“I had been very self­ish for a re­ally long time.’’

Pic­ture: JAY MAID­MENT

Cap­tain Amer­ica (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Marvel’s

Avengers: Age of Ul­tron.

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