Chris Hemsworth went from being an unknown Australian actor into a bona fide movie star with the titular role in the hit film adaptation of the Marvel comic Thor in what seemed like a true ‘overnight’ success story. Now the 28 year-old returns as Thor as he joins forces with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and others in the long-awaited film adaptation of the Marvel comic The Avengers.
While doing big budget tent-pole franchises like comic book superhero films may be a double-edged sword for most actors, for unknown actors, it could be a lucrative road to undreamed of potential success.
Hemsworth talks about the most memorable moment during the film’s shooting.
“That was our first day on set, too, with the whole ensemble, which was a pretty exciting and nerve-wracking experience,” he recalls, “That was amazing!”
Hemsworth talks about how Thor has a fish-out-of-water quality about him as part of The Avengers team.
“We all fell into that category,” he says, “[Director] Joss [Whedon] said it early on that we’re a dysfunctional family that belongs because they don’t belong anywhere else. Thor is from another planet and his motivation through the conflict and the villain was far more personal than the rest of them because it’s his brother.”
“It was nice to have already shot that film and to have had that relationship with Tom [Hiddleston],” Chris adds, “That was my focus. But, we all didn’t get along, at the beginning. Certainly, when you’re from some other planet or some other world, it’s fun to play that dynamic.”
The Avengers reunites with his Thor co-star Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki. Chris talks about what it’s like to work with the English actor.
“Tom loves hugs,” Hemsworth says, “I did a film with him, and there were plenty of hugs on that film, group hugs.”
It was asked whether Hemsworth drew from his own relationship with his own brother to create the relationship between Thor and Loki. “The last time either one of my brothers tried to take over the world or the universe, I had to think back and wonder, ‘How did I feel?’” Chris says, “When we did Thor, [director] Ken Branagh kept saying, ‘Let’s not get caught in playing gods. It’s truthful. You have brothers. How do you relate to that?’ That became the thread through Thor and through this. It’s that thing of, “I can give my brother a hiding and telling off, but no one else can.”
Chris talks about a 360 shot scene, where all the Avengers are together on the street.
“I remember thinking, on that day, ‘Yeah, this is the trailer shot,’ or “This is the big moment,’” Hemsworth says, “We’d been on the bridge, in the first scene where you see us all together, but we weren’t getting along, at that point. That moment, we finally were assembled and there and the same team, in that big 360 wide shot with all the chaos around us. I certainly remember thinking, ‘This is the moment.’”
Hemsworth revealed some funny stories off-set during the shooting of the film.
“Chris [Evans] sent us a text that said, ‘Avengers assemble at such and such bar, at 9 o’clock on Saturday night,’” he says, “That was a good group effort. We paid for it at work, the next couple of days.”
“I keep getting asked about who was the biggest diva,” Chris continues, “This was the first time I worked with these guys, and we all are either that well-behaved, or everyone kept each other in check. No one wanted to be the one who screwed it up.”
Chris talked about what he liked best about Thor and felt made the superhero special to him.
“I like the visceral gut instinct that Thor has,” he says, “There’s a bit of a childlike quality, in the sense that, if he believes something and wants to do something, he does it and says it.”
“Kids own their environment,” Hemsworth says, “There are no opinions that they really care about. With Thor, it’s there. It’s surrounded by bravado and strength, and all that, but at the end of the day, he’s pretty true to who he is and what he wants to do, and that was fun to play with.”
Hemsworth was asked if he had any accidents during the shooting of the fight scenes in The Avengers.
“I had one,” Chris reveals, “The scene where Thor takes Loki off the ship and lands, and then we go into the big two-hander. So, I was on a wire because I hadn’t learned to fly yet, and I had to come down and land on the cliff, step and have the conversation. For the first couple of takes and it’s going to turn up on the DVD extras somewhere. I just face-planted into the dirt. It was incredibly ungraceful and unsuperhero-like.”
Chris talked about his comic timing in The Avengers.
“The line where I say, ‘He’s adopted,’ gets a big laugh, but I had no idea,” Hemsworth says, “When we shot that, I went, ‘Is this really funny?’ But, that’s the thing. Joss is hilarious. The whole film, I was surprised how the comedy in it played so well.”
Hemsworth also revealed his favorite references from the script.
“I remember reading the script and reading the section where Hulk and Thor are finally on the same team and fighting the aliens,” Chris recalls, “And they end and are both standing there out of breath, and Hulk just backhands Thor. That was something I looked forward to. That had me on a wire, just getting yanked out of the shot. That was good.”