Chris Hemsworth – from Aussie soap to Hollywood hottie
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has shot to fame in Hollywood after giving up his role on popular Aussie soap Home and Away and moving to the US to try his luck in films. The move paid off and Chris has not only scored some great movie roles, he has also met and married Spanish actress Elsa Pataky.
After an exhausting round of auditions, Hollywood director and producer JJ Abrams cast Chris in 2009’s successful big screen re-make, Star Trek. This was followed by roles in the Joss Whedon-written horror movie The Cabin in the Woods and the action film Red Dawn.
Hemsworth who is still only 27, is certainly carving a good career for himself. He beat hundreds of other actors, including younger brother Liam, for the role of Thor.
Director Kenneth Branagh discovered Hemsworth’s audition tape among a large box sent to him by the film’s casting directors and was immediately intrigued.
“He fills everything I think Thor needs to have – incredible strength, physical dexterity, he is almost dancer-like doing moves with the hammer,” Branagh said, referring to Thor’s weapon of choice.
“If I can put it crudely, he is a guy’s guy, but also can be sensitive, and what I mean by that is he is aware of other people.”
The film monitors the hot-headed warrior Thor as he is banished to Earth to live among humans as punishment for re-igniting an ancient war.
Massive muscle gain required for Thor role
Director Kenneth Branagh required the already physically-imposing actor to to stack on an 10kg of extra muscle. Hemsworth found this difficult because he was already working out in the gym. It was all about food intake.
“Working out was the easy part,” he says.
“Eating was the hard part because it was such an effort to keep the weight on.
“I was constantly eating chickens, protein shakes, carbs, lean steak.
“I constantly felt sick in the stomach.
“I probably work out now as much as I did then, but I have stopped eating as much and now I have lost all the extra weight.”
The other physical aspect of the Thor role was wielding the magical, but lethal hammer. To provide authenticity, Hemsworth, Branagh and the film’s stunt coordinators worked hard on mimicking Thor’s movement in the comics.
“It was all about developing the style of how Thor fights so we looked at the body positions he uses in the comic book,” Hemsworth says.
Co-stars stunned by Thor’s imposing presence
Natalie Portman, who won the best actress Oscar in February for Black Swan, plays Jane Foster, a scientist and Hemsworth’s love interest in the $US150 million ($A143.13 million) movie. Portman and Hemsworth had worked together for a month prior on scenes that did not require the 191cm tall Hemsworth to dress up as the Norse god. On the day Hemsworth squeezed into the Thor costume, Portman and many of the other female Thor cast and crew were stunned by his appearance.
“For four weeks our characters were in regular, earthling clothes then all of a sudden we started shooting scenes when Chris was in a superhero costume,” Portman, 29, says. “It was a real shock … we were really amazed.”
Hemsworth laughs when told about how impressed Portman and co-star Kat Dennings were when they first saw him in the Thor outfit. He recounts that his fondest memory was the moment he and Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, who plays his father Odin, first locked eyes on each other in their costumes.
“The first time I put it on was incredible,” Hemsworth recalls.
“Anthony Hopkins was there and had his costume on, we looked at each other and he said ‘There’s no acting required here is there? It does the work’.”
Chris Hemsworth’s next film
Chris Hemsworth will appear next year in The Avengers, a film that features Marvel’s superheroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans) and super spy Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson).
When asked about how fame will affect him, the down-to-earth Aussie said –
“I want to be happy with what I have, where I come from and my family and friends and just taking it day by day and appreciating everything that comes along.
Meanwhile, younger brother Liam Hemsworth has a new movie lined up. He is set to play the lead role of Gale Hawthorn in the sci-fi film adaptation of The Hunger Games, Part I in a trilogy of science-fiction novels for teens written by American author Suzanne Collins. His co-stars in the movie will be Jennifer Lawrence as lead character Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark..
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