CHRIS & TELL
Good Aussie bloke Chris Hemsworth explains how family values keep him grounded – and takes his shirt off!
With his sure good looks and easy charm, Chris Hemsworth has proved himself to be modern Hollywood’s most successful Aussie import. Over a decade and a half have passed since he made his cinematic debut as hammer-wielding superhero Thor, and in the intervening years he’s returned to his most popular character a further six times in stand-alone sequels and as part of the multi-billiondollar, box office-busting
Appearances in motorsport biopic Rush, the Ghostbusters reboot, and his latest project – noir-thriller Bad Times at the El
Royale – have certainly not hampered his career. But even he’d agree his time in Tinseltown so far would’ve been very different without a certain blond wig and tight spandex suit.
“I see it as a very positive thing,” Chris
says. “Playing Thor has given me so much recognition that I’m able to do a lot of other work. This has been a huge blessing for me and the kind of opportunity very few actors ever enjoy. It was because of Thor that Ron Howard decided to cast me in
Rush; I love playing Thor and I will continue to play the character as long as Marvel lets me, and they keep making those movies. I owe so much to the role and I’m eternally grateful for all the doors it’s opened for me.”
Having said that, Chris is keen to show audiences that he’s “more than just the guy with muscles”. Alongside bringing these ulterior talents to the cinematic superhero sphere – a genre all too often hamstrung by its reliance on brawn over brains – the hottie’s repertoire now showcases an actor equally suited to explosive action, comedy... anything.
“I’m reaching the point where I can do both the big superhero lms as well as dramas and other types of stories,” he says. “Rush made people take me more seriously as an actor and I want to be able to continue to do work like that. I only got the role in Blackhat after Ron Howard showed Michael Mann the rst 45 minutes of Rush before it was even released.
“The Avengers movies have given me a huge standing in the business, but they’re big action lms where audiences are drawn mainly to the massive spectacle of it all.”
Still, a leading part in officially
the highest-grossing lm franchise of all time is a long way from his humble beginnings among “different cattle and buffalo stations in the Northern Territory”. Given that both his brothers, Liam and Luke, have enjoyed a taste of celebrity as well, it’s understandable that Chris places much of the credit for his successes rmly at the feet of his parents.
“Dad would spend a lot of time taking us sur ng and playing football with us when we were little,” he recalls. “My mother was also very active in our lives and I really have great memories of my childhood. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were a happy family and my brothers and I have a very strong bond between us. It was a very different kind of life that most kids would experience in a big city. It teaches you to be on your own a lot and you learn to develop and feed your imagination when you don’t have other kids to play with.”
These memories continue to inspire him in adulthood.
“I want to make sure that my children grow up with similar kinds of values even though their father might be better off nancially than some people,” he says. “I never want to spoil them. Children need to grow up with a sense of responsibility and pride in their own accomplishments rather than having everything handed to them.
And though he moved to LA to be closer to Hollywood while his career was really taking off, this thinking was behind his and wife Elsa Pataky’s move back to his roots to settle in the sun-drenched coastal haven of Byron Bay, NSW. Away from the industry pressures and ever-present paparazzi Stateside, Chris hopes his three kids, India Rose, six, and twin sons Sasha and Tristan, four, will be “exposed to the kind of life I enjoyed so much during my childhood”.
“I want our children to discover something of the beauty and vastness of nature while they grow up in Australia because it gives you a different perspective on life,” he explains. “Travelling also forces you to become more adaptable and much more self-reliant in a lot of ways.
“I want my children to have the experience of being able to see many different parts of the world and learn about different cultures. I want them to get to know their father’s culture and Elsa was very happy supportive of that. Australia is an amazing place to live.”
Recently there’s been a surge of likeminded silver screen family men – think Ryan Reynolds and countryman Hugh Jackman, for example. Chris’s devotion to his little brood and actress wife, meanwhile, also helps keep him grounded in spite of his global superstar status as a cape-wearing crime ghter – and one of the globe’s most handsome men.
“She nds it pretty amusing,” he says of Elsa’s reaction to off-screen accolades such as
People’s Sexiest Man Alive back in 2014. “I got bragging rights for 24 hours and she gave me the day off from household duties. But then the next day Thor was back to work taking out the garbage, changing diapers, and doing dishes. My parents really deserve the prize because I didn’t do anything to deserve the credit!”
As he looks to 2019, there’s a part in the new Men in Black spin-off and, yes, another
Avengers ick on the horizon. But Chris is happy bringing his characteristic native positivity into everything he does behindthe-scenes – sure in the knowledge that a solid foundation at home brings greater professional success.
“My mother told me that as long as you love your children and take care of them properly, then everything will be ne,” Chris says.
“I de nitely believe that!”
BROTHER! Chris, Luke & Liam
Bad Times at the El Royale Rush SEXIEST MAN ALIVE? Elsa scoffs at Chris’s accolade
Men in Black