After new Men In Black, Hemsworth is excited to think aliens exist
Chris Hemsworth says latest Men In Black has 'broader appeal'
Chris Hemsworth wants everyone to know that the new Men In Black: International is not a remake or a revamp.
"The MIB world of Tommy Lee and Will Smith still exists, and those characters still could cross paths with our characters at some point. This is sort of the international version of the film," he explained.
"We take place in London, we shot in New York for some of it, but also Morocco and Italy. So it has this sort of geographically broader appeal to it, which was appealing to me. I didn't want to try and remake something that had been done before."
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were the definitive Men In Black fighting aliens for the three sci-fi/action/comedy films starting in 1997. Their last outing was in 2012.
Now there is this spin-off led by Hemsworth sporting a British accent.
At our South-east Asian press meeting in Bali at the Ritz-Carlton, Hemsworth justifies the long trek journalists from Los Angeles had to make.
"It's tough," he said, laughing. "It might have been a long flight, but come on, it is better than the usual junket places. I am sick of the Four Seasons in LA, for sure."
It is certainly good for him as Bali is just five hours from his home in Australia and he often visits on surfing trips. He also got married to wife Elsa Pataky, a Spanish actress and mother of his three children, in Indonesia.
"I got married here in a little island called Sumba just off here in a place called Nihiwatu, which is a little eco-resort thing, so I love this place. And I learnt Indonesian in primary and high school. When I say learnt, it is about as impressive as my Spanish, which is bad."
WOMEN IN BLACK?
Directed by F. Gary Gray, Men In Black: International, which opens here tomorrow, also stars Tessa Thompson as Hemsworth's partner. So why is the movie still called MIB?
"We have a fair amount of fun with it in the movie. I think the casting itself gives a good nod to that. And then we have a few jokes about it, and the fact that Tessa says to Emma (Thompson), who plays the UK office chief, 'You know, what about the name?' And she is like, 'Yeah, we're working on that.' For me, that was another reason for jumping on board."
Tessa Thompson and Hemsworth also worked together in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, and he was happy to be working again with her.
"I've worked with her a number of times, and I don't think Thor would have been the character he was in Ragnarok without that relationship.
"To be able to sort of pick up where we left off and launch into that chemistry that we'd built before was fantastic."
This new film also features the iconic look of the MIB - the black suits and sunglasses.
"Well, with the outfit, we had Paul Smith design then fit it for us. I had a nice Paul Smith pair of socks I wear through the film... which certainly was not MIB code but he kind of bent the rules a little bit.
"The sunglasses, the same thing... but there were certain guidelines we had to stay between."
Hemsworth talks about acting with the "alien" actors before they were CGI-ed into their on-screen forms.
"They would read the lines and act opposite you. It was brilliant to have them there. Most of the time, it's a tennis ball or stick. In this, the aliens were actually people in sort of CGI jumpsuits with the lights.
"It's interesting how that's changed. Now the vast majority of the time you're acting with an actor and (the editors) then recreate their expressions into alien form. But you're acting with somebody."
The conversation turns to whether Hemsworth believes in aliens.
"My brothers kind of fit into that category," he joked.
"The optimistic part of myself would like to say yes, just because it is kind of exciting to think there is something else out there. You know, I might be one, but we will keep that a secret."
Pataky and Hemsworth have been married since 2010, and she still is not used to him going off on press tours, he said.
"It is always trying to find the balance of working and being with family. I would not say it annoys her, but that is a challenge for anyone in this type of business that moves this much.
"What annoys her about me? Probably if I surf a little long and stay out a little late from time to time. Usually because of traffic, though," he deadpanned.
"I can be pretty damn stubborn, and so can she," he added.
"Which is probably where we tend to kind of butt heads. But we've done pretty well to still be trucking along nicely. We just have strong opinions.
"We've been building a house for a while now. I think the vast majority of divorces happen while building a house, and so I'm thankful we have survived that. It's been interesting deciding on tap ware, couches and things that I never thought I'd even be bothered about, and for some reason it occurs."
Juggling children and a career is a trial for any parent, and the Hemsworths are no different. India Rose is seven, and the twin boys Sasha and Tristan are five.
Hemsworth is planning to take the rest of the year off.
He said: "We've been lucky that things have sort of fallen in a sequence where we weren't working at the same time for any great deal. But the older the kids get, the trickier it is.
"My focus becomes more about can I shoot at home as opposed to various spots around the world, now that the kids are definitely planted there in Byron Bay.
"There is no short, simple answer to it. It is sort of an ongoing assessment and reassessment and reshuffling."
The writer is the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit organisation of entertainment journalists that also organises the annual Golden Globe Awards.