EXCLUSIVE: Chris Hemsworth "Thor" Interview

Tags:anthony hopkins, cambio, chris hemsworth, comic, exclusive, interview, kenneth branagh, marvel, natalie portman, paramount, thor

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If you're not familiar with the name Chris Hemsworth, you soon will be.

Chris stars as the title character in Thor, which opens this Friday. He will also be seen soon in the remake of Red Dawn and he's rumored to be up for a role in Snow White & The Huntsman.

We had the chance to chat with Chris all about Thor, working with Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, and why everyone will love this movie. He even told us about an embarrassing moment from the set of the movie.

-What was the audition process like for Thor?
I auditioned about 4 times across 6 months. I was in and out of the game a couple of times. Thankfully at the end it all worked out.

-You did a lot of bulking up for this role. What kind of workout plan did you have?
I remember picking up the comic books and noticing how big the character was and I obviously wasn't going to try and get as big as that. We wanted to have a strong, functional physique. So I just ate everything I could get my hands on. It was all protein, vegetables and rice. I worked out 6, 7 days a week and it was good old fashioned weight-lifting, body building type stuff.

-Were you a fan of the mythology and story behind Thor before you read for the part?
I hadn't read the comic books previous to this, but I certainly was a fan of Norse mythology and the viking age. As a young bloke I was fascinated by that and that sense of adventure. Fantasy was always something I loved as a kid.

-Comic books have a big following, especially this one. How has their reception been towards you?
It's all been very positive. I'm well aware...they're a very passionate, dedicated group and you want to get it right. They'll tell you if you mess it up. So far it's all been positive and I'm thankful for that.

-What's something about Thor that we might be surprised to know about it.
A lot of these films I feel like you can get lost in the special effects. Now this film certainly has incredible special effects, but it is also because of Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins, and Natalie Portman. It's a real character story. There's a real heart to it and some real humor. I think when you have people who, their focus is character and story above the special effects of it all, then you combine that with the machine that is Marvel and it's a great combination.

-What was it like working with Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman?
They're both fantastic. Anthony has just such incredible enthusiasm and is very passionate about what he does, a 112 films later. It was very collaborative. And Natalie is just as sweet and wonderful as you'd imagine. She has a great sense of humor and Ken [Branagh] as well. I've never learned so much from a director before. Walking into this I thought it would have been one of the most intimidating experiences but it was actually the most comfortable setup because of the support I got from them.

-Were there any funny moments on set?
Everyone on set has a great sense of humor and many times it was incredibly fun. As far as bloopers go, there was a stunt rehearsal with the guy who plays my brother [Tom Hiddleston] has this whip that he had to practice with as one of the possible weapons he was going to use. I started using it and screwing around with it. The next minute I hit myself in the eye with it. I was very lucky it wasn't too serious but I had this huge welt across my face. I was trying to show off at the time and it was a little bit of karma I think.

-Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?
Many. I really enjoyed working with Anthony Hopkins and having the passionate father-son scenes. The guy is just so wonderful. They were probably my favorite scenes to work on.

-Thor is cast out of Asgard and sent to Earth where he's a fish out of water. Have you ever had a situation like that in real life?
Yeah sure. Probably coming over here. I had gone from working on a show to starting all over again here where I'm surrounded by people who naturally speak with an American accent and I'm trying my best to pretend to do one as well. It really was sort of back at square one and I didn't know anybody and I didn't know the town. It was a big sort of shell shock for me.

-What do you miss most about Australia?
My family and my friends. Obviously it's a beautiful country and very diverse depending on which part of it you're in. Certainly the people is what I miss the most.

-Are you excited to return as Thor in The Avengers?
Yeah! I'm really excited. We've watched these characters individually establish themselves and now we're going to all be fighting together. Not only are they incredible characters on paper but also these actors are people that I've admired for years and I'm very excited about working with them.

-Is there any particular actor you're looking forward to working with the most?
Robert Downey, Jr is just one of my favorites across the board. He's incredibly talented and I look forward to throwing it around with him.

-If you could play any of those other superheroes, who would it be?
Good question. Probably Captain America just because I'm Australian and I think that'd probably confuse a lot of people.

-People are calling you the next big thing. You're on the covers of magazines, etc. Has that attention and fame sunk in for you yet?
It's sort of an ongoing thing. You get used to it then all of a sudden it will creep up and surprise you. I've dealt with a bit of fame back in Australia when I worked there then I came here and started again. The second time around I feel more prepared for it. I've been able to assess that period and think, "Ok, I'll do this differently next time" or the novelty of the stardom of it all has worn off. It comes to the more normal in a good way. I love to work and now I can just focus on that.

-Your little brother Liam was up for the role of Thor as well and was just recently cast in The Hunger Games. Do you have any advice for him?
We run our stuff together a lot and bounce around ideas. He's got a good grip on things. I think we both would approach an action film the same way we would at a more character driven thing. You want to find the truth in what you're doing and the character's objective. Make it as real as you can. I think beyond that, as far as action and the physicality of it, we both grew up in a very sort of rough and tumble boy household so he's more equipped for that stuff.

-What is the message you hope fans get out of Thor?
I hope they have a great time and are able to be swept away into the adventure and fantasy of it all. For me, the escapism of films, especially growing up as a kid, is why I went. When you're able to sit in a dark room for two hours and transport into another place. I certainly think this film will do that and I hope people feel that and have a great time.

Make sure to check out Thor in theaters May 6. Chris will be reprising the role in the upcoming The Avengers movie. Stay tuned for more interviews with the cast tomorrow on Cambio.

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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