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Hemsworth back in fighting form for ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Updated July 6, 2022 - 11:23 am

Chris Hemsworth didn’t really mind going from dad bod in “Avengers: Endgame” back to god bod for “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Especially in light of his nude scene in the new movie.

“The first time I played Thor, I took my shirt off and I thought, ‘You know what’s gonna sweeten this … a decade from now it’s all gonna come off,’” Hemsworth jokes on a Zoom call from Los Angeles.

“It was always the north star,” he says of naked Thor. Then, the 38-year-old Aussie quips, “It’s all downhill after this one.”

In “Thor: Love and Thunder,” in theaters this weekend, the Asgardian god must find the true meaning of his life, which includes traveling space with the Guardians of the Galaxy and then reuniting with his earthly former girlfriend and true love, Jane (Natalie Portman). She faces a cancer diagnosis by grabbing the magic hammer Mjolnir and finding a winged helmet in order to morph into the female Mighty Thor. Both must dispatch a villain named Gorr the God Butcher.

When he’s not Thoring, Hemsworth lives in Australia with actress wife Elsa Pataky, 9-year-old daughter India and 8-year-old twin boys Sasha and Tristan.

Review-Journal: After so many outings has a little bit of Thor morphed into Chris and vice versa?

Chris Hemsworth: Our director, Taika Waititi, brought out the immature, young adolescent quality that I embody and so does Thor now. It really wasn’t there in the original films, but it’s exciting, new and fresh now. … I’m caught in the fascination of Thor, and I try not to get bogged down in the serious like you can when you make these kinds of films. Thor can now crush the one-liners.

So, he’s Party Thor.

Sure. You should have seen the cast a couple of hours ago at the premiere.

How do you keep the character fresh?

There is an obvious familiarity, but he has changed so dramatically over the years. What’s fun is that the character has evolved and I have as a person. I’ve melded and crossed paths with him in many ways. Of course, the origin story is the easiest and most obvious. You get the rules and the guidelines. The challenge now is how do you keep him relatable and re-create the character. Different casts bring out something different, plus the character is more me now in what I hope is a fun way.

You’re one of the remaining OGs when it comes to the Avengers.

It feels great and surprising. Also, it’s like … what is going on here? Why me? I’m humbled and honored. The fan base remains incredible. They love this character. I’m very thankful that we did something different with a lot of heart and fun.

What kind of physical training and diet goes into your Thor prep?

It’s a lot of clean protein and then weight training when I push hard. It’s all about the consistency. And I get really intense in the gym. For me, it’s about being the strongest and healthiest version of myself for each film.

Were you surprised to see Natalie Portman as a superhero?

It was exciting. I knew she would be great. Then she turned up in the suit for the first time on the set and it was like, “This is it. Here we go.”

And Christian Bale isn’t a bad choice as a bad guy.

He’s my favorite villain in the Marvel cinematic universe. This was a special part because there is an empathetic quality about him. There’s a vulnerability. What he is doing in killing the gods is so wrong, but his daughter has died. I get the motivation. He did an incredible job.

Your son Tristan plays Young Thor. What was that like for you?

It was cool. He does a running scene. He’s a better runner than me. He ran and then I did my run. I thought, “I have to do that again. I look terrible and old.” Tristan is the most outrageously confident little guy. He loves the action. I’m like, “Chill out, mate!”

Thor’s hammer rejects him for Jane in the film. A sad moment for the big guy.

It’s hard for him to see his ex-girlfriend take over his hammer. Suddenly, the weapon he holds so dear belongs to someone else. He gets the new Stormbreaker hammer in the film. But there is still a little jealousy there that evolves during the film. Stormbreaker is made of Groot’s arm, but he’s a young weapon that is going through changes and has moods.

In real life, one of the hammers is at your house.

It’s often in my kids’ toy box. Once, I found it in the bathroom.

One thing fans might not know about you: When you hit it big, you took care of your parents first.

One of my driving forces when I started auditioning for roles was to pay off my parents’ house. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but my parents gave us everything. I wanted to do something for them.

What’s a good Sunday when you’re Chris Hemsworth?

It’s about being home with my family. We’re an active family. We go to the beach or ride bikes or just play. The kids have such imaginations. On Sundays, we make breakfast together and then they want to go scuba or skateboard. We don’t need to do anything but hang out together and life is sweet.

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