Thor-tal transformation

Avengers: Infiinity War star Chris Hemsworth on the changes he and his character have gone through

Ever since he donned the armour and red cape in the first Thor movie in 2011, much has changed for Chris Hemsworth.

The 34-year-old Australian actor went from an unknown to a sex symbol of superhero proportions.

His alter-ego, Thor, has also undergone a major transformation in terms of physical looks and character arc.

In Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Thor and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) were among the first to experience the power of Thanos' (Josh Brolin) Infinity Gauntlet. Their encounter was teased at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, a brilliant end to the trilogy.

How did the Russo brothers explain Thor's role in this film to you?

Anthony and Joe said that the Thor from Thor: Ragnarok probably won't fit in this film. You can afford to take bigger risks and be that wacky and reinvent the entire world to support your version of the character if it's your title film.

But if you come into an ensemble like Infinity War, you need to adjust and fit into the mould and the tone of that film. And this really is Thor at his best, as Joe and Anthony described it. This is the most heroic, most vengeful, passionate, driven, committed version of Thor that we've seen.

Have you ever reflected on your Marvel cinematic journey with Tom Hiddleston?

Yes. Tom and I talk all the time about the crazy journey that we've been on, the growth that we've had as individuals and as actors, and also as these characters and what a trip the whole thing has been and how lucky we are.

This is the most heroic, most vengeful, passionate, driven, committed version of Thor that we’ve seen. Chris Hemsworth

But I think there's not a single cast member in this film that doesn't acknowledge and appreciate this journey and sort of pinch ourselves at what an opportunity we've all had and what an amazing thing to be a part of.

Do you relish the fact you've been able to flesh out a character over so many films?

I love the fact that we've been all given the opportunity to do something different each time and put our ideas forward. And to have an opportunity to attack a character again and hopefully advance on that and bring something unique to it each time is a real challenge.

But if you can pull it off, it's pretty creatively satisfying.

Did you rehearse the scene where Thor first encounters the Guardians of the Galaxy?

There was no rehearsing. We turned up, shook hands, introduced one another, and started shooting. It needed to be that way because that's how it was for the characters.

That scene was so much fun to play, because many of us came into this film as big fans of each other's franchises. To stand there among the Guardians was a bit of fan boy moment for me. It was also kind of nerve wracking as I felt strangely uncomfortable and wondering how I fit into this puzzle.

We were able to improvise a bit and play around with that. It brought out the unique qualities in all of our characters purely from just having someone different involved.

What separates Thanos from typical Marvel villains?

There is certainly a common theme with many villains of that scale and size who are trying to save humanity from itself and save us from ourselves. But it's done in a very brutal fashion.

What I haven't seen before is this force and this power in one single individual. It's not only Thanos' intellect that allows him to navigate his way through this and outsmart us, but his sheer force and strength is something that none of the Avengers or anyone in the MCU has ever really encountered before.

While reading the script, I was kind of racing to the end to work out how the heck we were going to beat this guy.

What was working with Josh Brolin like?

Josh has a great sense of humour, very laid-back. He has a sort of no-problem, just-do-it attitude and doesn't suffer fools.

There's an honesty to him as a human being and a directness, which is so refreshing when coupled with his great sense of humour.

So watching him work was a huge pleasure, and I feel like I learned a lot from his approach.