Los Angeles Times reporter Amy Kaufman caught up with Chris Hemsworth in Las Vegas for a green-room chat about, well, his muscles. Here’s some video and her backstage dispatch …
When Chris Hemsworth landed his first leading role as the title character in this summer’s “Thor,” the actor wanted to make sure he was prepared. After all, his part in the Kenneth Branagh-directed adaptation of the iconic Marvel comic book will be the Australian native’s first major introduction to American audiences.
“I got the part and immediately started looking at the comic books, and the guy is 500 pounds or something and looks like Schwarzenegger. And I thought, ‘OK, I’m not gonna get to that.’ But I have to get bigger,” Hemsworth said, sitting backstage at the Colosseum in Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, where about 20 minutes of new “Thor” footage was unveiled at CinemaCon on Monday night.
But Hemsworth took the training a bit too seriously. “[The filmmakers] kept saying ‘Yeah, get as big as you can, as big as you can.’ And then I came back right before Christmas, just before we started the movie, and had a final sort of camera test and put the costume on and within a couple of minutes, my hands started going numb,” he recalled. “And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, that’s not cool.’ And I started getting pins and needles and you’d touch the skin and the blood wouldn’t return to that area so quick. And I thought, ‘OK, it doesn’t fit.’ ”
The actor’s costume was then altered, and director Branagh instructed Hemsworth to “pull back” on his intense workouts a bit. But in the pieces of the film unveiled to the crowd on Monday, the actor still looked bulked up in a major way.
On Thursday, the actor is being honored as “Male Star of Tomorrow” at CinemaCon. Hemsworth admitted that, with all the hype leading up to the May 6 release, he’s a bit anxious.
“It’s the normal sort of anxiety that you want it to succeed and do well,” he said. “So far, everything is in our favor.” Next up, he’ll be on the set reprising his role in the ensemble super-hero adventure “The Avengers,” due out in 2012. Which means he’s already busy working out, again. “I’d rather do this than sort of put on unhealthy weight. I think that’d be harder to lose and probably be enjoyable putting it on, because you could eat whatever you want. But this is good. I get to stay active and that is my job at the moment, so I can’t complain.”
– Amy Kaufman
RECENT AND RELATED