Avengers: Endgame's Chris Hemsworth feels ‘freer’ as Thor now
Star on God of Thunder's journey through the years
When a movie is so hotly anticipated that its pre-sales crash ticket websites and people are selling first-day tickets on eBay for US$15,000 (S$20,300) each, you know it is critic-proof.
Disney certainly does, be-cause journalists were shown only 10 minutes of footage of Avengers: Endgame at last week's press junket.
It is the last one where Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Don Cheadle (War Machine) will all appear together in an Avengers movie.
The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos (Josh Brolin) in last year's Avengers: Infinity War that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios' grand conclusion to 22 films.
Opening here on April 24, it is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, their second outing for the Avengers and fourth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Tickets go on sale from today.
At our interview at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles, Hemsworth reflected on his MCU career. After all, his time as the God of Thunder is reportedly contractually up, but further Thor adventures could still happen.
He said at the beginning of Endgame, "mentally, emotionally, physically, every aspect of Thor is broken".
That is presumably because he had a chance to kill Thanos in Infinity War and blew it.
The 35-year-old Australian actor added: "He is lost and uncertain. So it is a whole new journey, and it felt like I was playing a completely different character. I felt freer than I have ever felt before because there are no rules at this point.
"If I had been given this character two or three years earlier, I think I would have dropped the ball in a big way. It sort of happened at a perfect time in terms of my development as a human being and as an actor."
Obviously, it takes a lot of working out to look like a superhero, and Hemsworth is used to the physical training required.
"I felt more fit because we had done the fighting styles of the characters so much, and you develop a bit of an athleticism that becomes second nature and you are still updating that physicality.
"I let my stunt guy do the stuff that is potentially life-threatening," added the father of three, laughing.
"You have a great team of stunt men and women who orchestrate these things into sort of an instrument of precision and to ensure your safety, and you get banged up still. But I have been pretty fortunate in that sense. But yeah, it demands a huge amount of commitment and athleticism, but it is also part of the fun."
The Thor costume was another thing he reminisced about.
"I remember the first (Thor) film (in 2011) to now, you still feel a combination of ridiculous and in Halloween dress-ups, as well as excitement.
"We look pretty cool when you sit there in the cinema and watch. But on set, it feels mostly pretty silly."
Part of the discomfort was that it was hard to take off.
"I don't like mine because it is difficult to go to the restroom and it is incredibly hot, especially when shooting in Atlanta doing fight scenes.
"It takes 15 minutes to get on all the pieces of the armour. It looks impressive and it is cool, but I can't say it is comfortable by any means. But it does so much work for you on-screen.
"On the first Thor, (co-star) Anthony Hopkins said, 'Look at these costumes. We need to just stand there, say our lines and do less because they do much work for us.'"
We also talked about the Thor action figure, which he gave to his seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old twin boys.
"They said, 'Who the hell is that guy?' I said, 'It's me, Thor.' And they said, 'Why is your head so big?'"
Hemsworth gave a lot of credit to the Russo brothers for a good working experience.
"For something that could have and should have been the most stressful, chaotic experience with an amount of pressure, you would have thought we were filming the 10th episode of a TV show that had been running for 30 years.
" It was that sort of easy. They were collaborative, kind and amazing."
And he had a funny story about his first time meeting them at Comic-Con.
He shared: "You are meeting so many different people there and I heard blah blah Civil War, and I thought they were actors in the movie (2016's Captain America: Civil War).
"And then we met them literally right after the film came out and I was like, 'Oh, you guys directed the thing?' I felt pretty embarrassed."
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.