We’re used to seeing Chris Hemsworth appearing alongside a certain (Incredible) Hulk, but soon we’ll be seeing the Aussie actor portraying a Hulk of his own.
The Thor star is set to portray iconic American wrestler Hulk Hogan in a biopic of the sports entertainment star from Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover and Joker.
The as-yet-untitled movie will explore how the wrestler – real name Terry Bollea – became the biggest star in his field in the 80s with the World Wrestling Federation (the company since renamed itself World Wrestling Entertainment).
Speaking to Total Film, Hemsworth – who is obviously no stranger to putting on muscle, thanks to the Marvel movies – says that playing Hulk Hogan is going to be his most extreme physical transformation yet.
The 36-year-old actor explains, “I will have to put on more size than I ever have before, even more than I put on for Thor… I will also have to do a deep dive into the rabbit hole of the wrestling world, which I’m really looking forward to doing.”
Hemsworth says he first signed on to play Hulk Hogan for Todd Phillips “a year or two ago,” but it still may be a while before we actually get to see him sporting Hogan’s iconic yellow trunks, red bandana and handlebar moustache.
The actor admits, “I haven’t even seen a script yet.” It’s also unclear whether the film will be released theatrically, or go straight to Netflix, as was the case with Hemsworth’s recent film Extraction.
Hemsworth won’t have time to get out of shape in the meantime, though, as he’ll soon be shooting his eighth big-screen appearance as Marvel’s Norse god superhero in Thor: Love and Thunder.
The fourth Thor solo movie will reunite Hemsworth with actors Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. Love and Thunder is poised to go before cameras later this year, lockdown permitting.
There are a lot of Chrises in the acting world right now – that goes without saying.
Even in the superstar acting world, it feels like Chrises have more than their fair share of the spotlight. Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth – each of these actors have had stellar careers, and all are someone’s favourite.
Today, however, we’re focusing on everyone’s favourite Thor – Chris Hemsworth. Here are 20 things you probably didn’t know about him.
20. His brother once almost tried to kill him with a knife
Chris’s life was almost cut short by his own brother, Liam, after the pair got into a fight when they were younger.
Liam recalls a youth that was dominated with fights between himself and his brother, Liam.
Apparently both were extremely stubborn children, which isn’t hard to imagine giving the roles they have played onscreen.
Because he was the smaller brother, Liam remembers that he often had to use weapons to make it a fair fight, but one attempt nearly cost Chris his life.
Liam threw a knife at Chris, but fortunately for both of them, it landed handle first.
This may have been a result of Liam’s anger over being bullied by his brothers as a child, including being wrapped in blankets and hunted with air rifles.
19. He was the reason Thor: Ragnarok was shot Down Under
Even though he is a native of the country, to date Hemsworth has only filmed one movie on home turf.
Parts of Thor: Ragnarok were filmed in the Gold Coast at Hemsworth’s request.
He voiced the idea of filming in Australia and felt blessed when the studio agreed to his request.
Much of the movie had its roots Down Under, being directed by kiwi Taika Waititi.
He cast several New Zealand/Australian actors for various parts.
He also had a local indigenous tribe bless the production before filming began.
18. He won the role of Thor over his brother
Perhaps Liam wished that knife had caused a little more damage, because we’re pretty sure he resented his big brother about this.
To win the role of Thor, God of thunder, Chris had to take it from his own brother.
Whilst filming for Cabin in the Woods, director Drew Goddard and writer Joss Whedon were reviewing the top five choices of actor to play the Asgardian.
When they saw Liam was in the running, they knew Chris belonged in their too.
And so Chris won the part over his younger brother, but it’s not exactly like Liam has done bad.
He most famously played Gale in The Hunger Games franchise alongside Jennifer Lawrence and is married to Miley Cyrus.
17. His wife sacrificed her career for their relationship
There has to be give and take in every relationship, and that was certainly the case for Chris Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Pataky.
She had to sacrifice her own career as an actress in order for Chris to be able to pursue his.
The actress may not be as well-known as her husband, but she did enjoy some TV success in Spain before meeting Hemsworth.
American audiences will best know her as Elena Neves in the Fast and Furious franchise.
When the couple became an item, they soon realised that pursuing a career in acting and having kids was going to be difficult.
As such, Pataky made the choice to put her career on hold.
16. He played Chris Pine’s dad in the Star Trek reboot
Now best known as Thor in the hugely successful Marvel franchise, Chris Hemsworth first starred in another big movie franchise, Star Trek, back in 2009.
You will spot a younger and thinner Chris Hemsworth playing George Kirk, James T. Kirk’s dad.
The actor isn’t on screen for long, but it is his emotional delivery of the character’s final moments that helped him break through into stardom.
The actor originally auditioned to play the part of James, his on-screen son, but the part went to Chris Pine.
He didn’t get the role because director, JJ Abrams, told Chris that he was too tall for the part at 6’3″.
He called Hemsworth to his office to read for the part of George, and gave him the part after only reading a few lines.
15. Appearing on Dancing With The Stars nearly cost him Thor
Like his older brother Luke, Chris got his first big acting break on Neighbours.
He also managed to land the role of King Arthur in an Australian miniseries called Guinevere Jones.
His big break, however, came on another Aussie soap, Home and Away…the same show that a young Heath Ledger starred in.
Chris played the son of a high school principal for an impressive 171 episodes, and became popular enough to appear on Dancing with the Stars Australia.
Hemsworth finished in fifth place alongside his partner, which is probably best considering his involvement in the show nearly cost him the role of Thor.
The CEO of Marvel studios, Kevin Feige, said that he was worried fans would find the videos online and become more skeptical of the choice of Hemsworth as Thor.
14. He grew up in the Australian outback
Several years after being born in Melbourne, Australia, Chris and his brothers relocated to the Australian Outback.
Chris has some very fond memories of growing up in the Norther territory.
“My earliest memories were on the cattle stations up in the Outback, and then we moved back to Melbourne and then back out there and then back again.
“Certainly most of my childhood was in Melbourne, but probably my most vivid memories were up there in Bulman with crocodiles and buffalo. Very different walks of life.”
There was clearly plenty of room for them to wrap Liam up in blankets and hunt him down with air rifles.
It’s a world away from his life today.
13. Surfing is his passion
With the physique that he has got, it’s only natural that Hemsworth enjoys sports.
He plays football and has said that he would have pursued a career in football had he not injured his shoulder.
Since football is out of the question, Hemsworth’s other passion in surfing.
Considering that the actor grew up in Australia, where surfing is a national hobby, this is no surprise.
Chris still enjoys surfing when he has the free time to do so.
Because he is a father of three, Chris has also spoken about wanting to teach his kids how to surf.
12. He was once voted People’s sexiest man alive
In 2014, People magazine names Chris Hemsworth as the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
With his very unique sense of humour, Chris replied to the honour in his own way…
“Thank you, I’m most excited about the alive portion of that statement, and the sexy part is a bonus.”
When asked what his wife thought of the news, Chris said:
“I think you’ve bought me a couple of weeks of bragging rights around the house.
I can just say to her, ‘Now remember, this is what the people think, so I don’t need to do the dishes anymore, I don’t need to change nappies. I’m above that. I’ve made it now.” #LOL
11. He once tried a 750-calorie-a-day diet to lose weight for one movie
Hemsworth is known for usually being big and beefy, but for one movie he had to lose a ton of weight.
This was for the Ron Howard directed movie, In The Heart of The Sea.
It is a film about the real-life sinking of the American whaling ship Essex, an event that would inspire Herman Melville to write the famous novel Moby Dick.
Despite the love for the classic novel and Hemsworth’s appearance, the movie was not well-received.
For the movie, Chris was on a strict diet of 750 calories a day, which naturally altered his physique.
Of course, the real-life sailors involved in the incident had it much, much worse.
10. His wife has been his co-star
Hemsworth’s wife might have taken a step back from acting when the two of them had children, but that doesn’t mean she stepped away for good.
In 2018, she starred alongside Hemsworth in 12 Strong, a war drama. In the movie, the two of them acted as a couple.
Many other actors they knew advised them against doing a movie together, especially one where they were playing each other’s spouse.
With that said, Hemsworth has said doing the movie was like a vacation – since they got to spend time together without the children in a pretty fabulous location.
Not only that, but in the movie there are several lines that Hemsworth and his wife improvised themselves, based on their actual marriage to each other.
This has only made it an even more special project for the two of them to work together, especially for their first collaboration.
9. Anthony Hopkins is his mentor
Hemsworth has had the honour of working with a ton of great actors over the years, but none top the opportunity of working with Anthony Hopkins.
The two worked together multiple times throughout the MCU’s Thor series, with Hopkins playing his father, the god Odin.
Hopkins has been nominated for an Oscar three times and won once, so he’s considered something of an acting legend with very valuable advice.
He bestowed some of this prize advice on Hemsworth while they worked together, and Hemsworth said that it changed his approach forever.
Basically: he told Hemsworth that no matter how sucessful and riding high you are, your chances of getting another job are never certain.
That means it is cruical to always be humble and kind, especially towards the crew and the production staff, who will remember who they enjoyed working with.
8. There’s a reason he’s so humble
Aside from that award-winning advice, there’s another reason why Hemsworth is so popular, and it surprisingly has to do with his culture and heritage.
Basically, the fact that he never takes his success for granted and always tries to be modest was baked into his Australian upbringing.
How? Well, Australia has this concept called “tall poppies”, which are people who are thought to be having too much success too easily, or too early on.
The response to this is to cut the poppy down – by ribbing the person and attempting to knock them down a few pegs, so they won’t become too full of themselves.
Hemsworth has said that he was considered a tall poppy by his friends and family growing up, and that people were constantly reminding him that he wasn’t really that good as a result.
This put him in a situation where he felt like he could never take credit for his own work, even when he felt super proud of it internally.
7. He calls Ghostbusters his most challenging role
Hemsworth has had a lot of starring roles over the years, and all of them have required different things from him. Of course, some have been harder than others.
While you might expect that his role as Thor would be the hardest, due to the massive stakes, physical demands and huge audience expectations – the actual answer is way weirder.
The truth is, out of all the work he has done, the film he found hardest to do a good job with was the Ghostbusters sequel/reboot, and not for the reason you’d expect.
Both the genre of the film and the character decisions he had to adhere to made it difficult for him, even though he had a great time on set.
Essentially, he felt weird about using his own accent in a movie, since he had never done it before and was ultra self-conscious about how he sounded every time he spoke.
The other problem was that he was trying to be goofy and funny, and the scenes involved a lot of improvisation and bouncing off of each other, which he wasn’t good at.
6. He loves putting on accents for movies
Given what we’ve already discussed, it’s probably not surprising that Hemsworth loves doing accents in movies, since it means he doesn’t have to use his native Australian accent.
Over the years he has had to do numerous accents, some more often than others, and as a result there are some that he can pull off way more convincingly.
For example, his english accent is pretty flawless, as a result of polishing it over numerous Marvel films – both in the central Thor series and outside of it.
Not only that, but his American accent is pretty hard to poke holes in, since any actor wanting to work in Hollywood kind of needs to master a standard American accent.
With that said, just because Hemsworth likes doing accents and has done a lot of them over the course of his career, it doesn’t mean that every one of them is a winner.
In particular, the scottish accent he adopted for Snow White And The Huntsman was torn apart by critics, and he has since admitted that it’s one he needs to work on.
5. His sibling rivalry is adorably petty
When you grow up with three brothers, the chances are you’re going to develop some kind of sibling rivalry over the years, especially as kids.
However, what’s funny in the case of the Hemsworths, or at the very least just Chris and Liam Hemsworth, is that they never grew out of it.
Of course, they’re not playfighting in the Australian outback anymore or taunting eachother with makeshift weapons, but they’re doing something just as petty.
Basically, whenever one of them scores a high profile endorsement deal or modelling shoot, the other one has to deface it.
Chris started it when Liam Hemsworth appeared on the cover of Men’s Health, and Chris scribbled all over it and put it up on Instagram.
From there, it just became a tradition, with Liam scribbling all over Chris’ Vanity Fair cover and posting it to Instagram as retaliation.
4. He got into acting to make money
Most people get into acting for super impractical reasons: whether they want to become ultra famous and admired, or they just have an obsessive love for the art of acting.
Even those who pursue it just because they’re good at it and it’s something to do, which does happen for many actors, aren’t doing it because it’s the most sensible choice they could make.
Hemsworth is unique in that he chose acting as a potential career path not because he particularly loved it or was good at it, but because he knew that if he worked hard – the potential to make money was huge.
That might not sound like an odd motivation, but he actually didn’t care at all about becoming rich himself, he just wanted to provide for his parents and his family.
When he was younger, he heard his parents stressing about how they would pay off their mortgage, and he decided from then on that he would eventually pay off their house.
Acting seemed like the best way to do that, so that’s what he pursued, and he did eventually pay off their mortgage and take care of them.
3. He has stolen A LOT of MCU props from the set
It’s not unusual for an actor to fall in love with a specific piece of costume or prop on-set, and it’s even less unusual for them to try and take it home.
This can be a problem in low budget movies or movies with expensive historical elements, but in huge productions like MCU movies it’s less of a problem.
It won’t surprise anyone to know that Chris Hemsworth got very attached to his hammers, and was stoked when he realised each movie included several duplicates made for different situations.
This meant that he could easily take one home at the end of each production, leading to a collection of slightly different hammers in his home.
That’s already endearingly geeky, but what’s more hilarious is that two of his kids could not care any less about his collection of fake mythical hammers.
However, his youngest kid loves to play with them and pretend to be Thor just like his dad, and always asks if he can play with the hammer that ‘beats up bad guys’.
2. His house is so big it annoys the neighbours
Chris Hemsworth may have grown up being told that it’s best to be modest and downplay his success and achievements, but some things you just can’t hide.
For example, when you get into acting specifically for the money, you can’t be surprised when you end up with enough to build a mansion.
Obviously, Hemsworth deserves a place to unwind after working so hard, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is impressed with his home.
In particular, Hemsworth’s neighbours have expressed frustration at the constant renovations of his mansion, even though it’s obscured by trees and basically in the middle of nowhere.
In particular, they’ve complained about the noise of the renovations disturbing them, since they live in an area that’s focussed on quietness and courtesy.
That’s understandable, but they’re also complaining about the potential of the home becoming an eye-sore, even though it’s way below the tree line.
1. He’s sick of green screen movies
There’s no denying that Hemsworth is most famous for his work as Thor within the MCU, and it’s a role he loves playing.
However, in between movies where he has to don the cape and hammer, he has begun seeking out smaller and more obscure productions.
He does this for a variety of reasons: because he would lend a smaller production star power, and it’s an opportunity to work with new and talented directors that he’s unaware of.
With that said, another motivation of him seeking out smaller scale and more grounded movies, is that he finds green screens distracting.
That’s right, Hemsworth’s decision to seek out character dramas and more realistic films is that he finds being around green screens all the time to be distracting.
He has said in interviews that he worries he’s not doing his best work when he constantly has no set to work around, hence his focus on character-driven stories going forward.