Thor: Ragnarok–Interview with Star Chris Hemsworth

Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, hits theaters on November 3.

 

L to R: Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

Humor in Film

Chris Hemsworth: I have always loved Taika’s work and had seen all of his film and been a fan before we had worked together.  And I got really bored with what I was doing with the character in the last couple of movies and felt a little sort of flat footed and wanted to try something different.  I called Kevin Feige and spoke with Taika and just said look, we have to advance this in a big way, make something drastically different I think and then reinvent it.  And Taika had the same vision, as did Marvel.  And so a lot of days were spent improvising, playing around, laughing and taking risks, and anytime it felt familiar or to a place that we had went to before, we went in a different direction. I was really happy with the film and I think it gave it a spontaneity and a predictable fun quality that it hadn’t had before.

Thor as Signature Role–Danger of being Typecast

CH: I think even before I started making the films, that was something that I had thought about, whether I was going to get typecast in this role or not.  But it’s opened up every opportunity that I have had and I have managed to do a lot of different things in between these Marvel films and this character and also, kind of reinventing this time around felt very fresh and I think all of us breathed some new life into it.  And that is the challenge and I think also the motivation for an actor, taking a part of a franchise to each time step it up and evolve it in some way.  But I don’t have any concerns about once the Thor world ends or my part of being in the Marvel world ends that I am going to feel restricted in any way.  I think these days it’s just about trying to reach an audience and I just feel incredibly happy that I am working with a company that manages to make such great films that many, many people in the world love and get off the couch at home and go to the cinema. And as I said, that is getting harder and harder to do.  It’s more about who you work with and who you surround yourself with and if I can keep working with people like Taika, who inspired me beyond anyone and incredibly creative and fun to work with and that’s sort of where my focus and thoughts go.

 

Siblings Rivalry

CH: Yeah, just as brothers do, in the positive sort of fun way.  But not to do with this sort of line of work of this world, it’s more just playing sports or football or playing cards or whatever, it doesn’t go much beyond that.  We are incredibly supportive of one another.  There is so much sort of instability in this line of work that we chased and chosen and you have got to support each other. And we are just well aware that we are never solely responsible for anything that happens anyway and it’s always part of a big team effort and collaboration.

 

Competing with Special Effects

CH: It’s tricky when you are on a big green stage and there’s no practical sets to interact with.  I think Taika had a pretty strong goal to make as many sets as we could and shoot outside and make use of natural lighting and so on and so forth. So it feel a little more organic than these films can feel.  And it is challenging at times certainly.  The first time I had seen the movie was last night and watching the sets come to life in this world created beyond any of my involvement and I had no idea what the buildings were going to look like or the monsters that we were fighting were going to look like, and then seeing it was mind-blowing. I am a fan of that process and what the digital effects department and crew can build and it only enhances our position and makes us look better I think.  I welcome all of the support we can get from people like that.

 

Action Movies

CH: Well for me, action movies is strictly acting, cause I have no say in the special effects of it all.  But it’s about a great script and can a story exist in something of this size and something much smaller?  And Taika, having worked in both areas now and turned out such wonderful films in both places, is a reminder that it is just about the character’s interactions and the truth of the story.  And the special effects can do what they want, but people aren’t relating to the story or buying into it or feeling for the characters, then it doesn’t matter.  And I guess there are a lot more days on films like this and there’s an exhausting sort of quality in that sense.  And I remember when I shot “Rush” I don’t know, I think it was a two month shoot and instead of a four, five month shoot.  So yeah, it would be nice to go work for a few months less.  (laughs) But as far as the sort of creative journey and process, I don’t feel much different on a bigger film or a smaller film cause I apply the same sort of attitude and work ethic and principles to it.

Working with Stan Lee

CH: I am in awe of him and what he created, and the opportunity and the life he had given us because of the stories he has written.  He is just wonderful and he is incredibly charismatic and fun and always smiling when he comes and does these cameos, or when I cross paths with him on a set or a red carpet.  That was a fun day, sort of one of the funniest cameos he’s had.  And I really liked the idea of cutting the hair and I talked about it with Kevin before the script was written. If we attempted to change it drastically in a big way, we ought to change the look too.  It meant that I didn’t have to spend that extra hour or two in hair and makeup each day, so I didn’t mind.

What Did You Give Your Wife?

CH: I gave her Australia. And she is going to give me Spain if that’s okay with you.   She, as you said, gave up sort of a lot of what she was doing, and works a lot less now and allows me to chase this crazy dream and supports me in every way, and I am forever grateful and lucky to have someone who supports me in that way.  And yeah, when I have some down time, what we have tried to do over the years is to not work at the same time and she will work next year I think when I have some time off. But we love where we live in Australia and also want to spend more time and that is the plan next year, to go to Spain.  It’s much easier to handle the three kids with her help.  I have her on speed dial to get all the tips and techniques and secrets.

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