Like a Boss
Chris Hemsworth, face of Boss Bottled, talks family life and his idea of fun
FOR A MAN FAMOUS for playing the Norse god Thor, Chris Hemsworth is surprisingly good at dispelling myths. The first being that, no matter their larger-than-life screen persona, a Hollywood star will be surprisingly diminutive in real life. Not so Hemsworth: his presence in the room as he’s unveiled as the face of Hugo Boss’s Boss Bottled fragrance at a showcase in New York is commanding; at 6ft 3in he towers like a bronzed Ayers Rock over the scene. His proportions, and booming Australianaccented voice, are pure superhero. The second myth is that actors don’t like talking about their private lives: Hemsworth, 34, gamely jokes about daily life with his wife and children in Byron Bay.
‘It ’s a totally different life there,’ he says of the decision to relocate his family from LA in 2015. ‘It ’s all about the ocean, being outside, salt water in your hair.’ Which makes the notion of Hemsworth – who adds that his idea of bliss is a surf and a few beers with the boys – preening before the bathroom mirror a slightly incongruous one.
‘I owe any sort of grooming regime to my wife,’ he laughs. ‘She’s the one making sure I moisturise and put on an SPF because it’s hot as hell where we live. When I’m not filming I’m outdoors, exposed to the wind and elements, so it’s important to look after my skin.’
It was his wife, Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, who had the final say in his union with German label Hugo Boss and its signature fragrance, which launched in 1998 and is now its bestseller. ‘She’s a fan of the scent, which is the most important thing – if she wasn’t there’s no way I would be allowed to wear it. I like scents that are light and summery, not too overpowering, but she gets ultimate approval.’ Happily, the blend of bergamot, cinnamon, clove and vetiver passed muster.
Hemsworth – who got his big break in the soap Home and Away and played Captain Kirk’s father in 2009’s Star Trek before starring in Thor and Snow White
and the Huntsman – was never the academic sort . ‘ In school, I only cared about looking out of the window at the trees,’ not out of any particular love of greenery, but because the direction the wind blew in would tell him what the surf would be like that day. ‘In talking about scents now, it ’s funny because there are certain coastal plants that, when I smell them, totally transport me back to those moments of running down to the beach from school. It instantly hits me: who I was dating, where my life was at that moment,’ he says. ‘Certain board waxes, certain sunscreen too… they remind me of when there was just nothing to worry about but catching that next wave.’
Life is rather more complicated now. Later this year the third film in the Thor franchise will be released, followed next year by the new Avengers movie, in which Hemsworth also stars. Despite being a ‘board shorts and vest top’ sort of guy, he enjoys the dress-up involved in red-carpet events and the structure of serious tailoring, something Boss does very well. ‘If you’ve been lucky enough to have a suit fitted, you learn how it’s all about the tailoring and how it sits on you. It’s also important to me because of my size,’ he says. ‘I can’t really fit off-therack so it’s great to be able to feel good in something that’s more formal, instead of [feeling] like I can’t move in it.’ His suiting repertoire comprises three variants: ‘ Thor-build suits, in-betweenThor suits, and then normal me.’
Out of the pinstripes and starched shirting and away from the demands of the film lot or press call, it ’s clear that it’s the wholesome pursuits of his home that keep Hemsworth centred. ‘Surfing is meditative for me… You can’t fret about work when you’re purely focused on not drowning,’ he laughs. ‘ Whenever I get cranky my wife sends me off to get some waves.’ hugoboss.com