Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth, who is best known for essaying God of Thunder Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, turns 38 on August 11. The actor is now synonymous to the multi-billion dollar franchise, with his character being the first to get a fourth stand-alone movie. However, that was not always the case for Hemsworth.
Chris, who hails from Australia, did not always have an easy ride to fame in Hollywood, even though he was a known face in his country. The actor was first seen in a small introductory scene in Star Trek in 2009. He then had to wait a period of two years before he got work in The Cabin in the Woods, Red Dawn and subsequently Thor.
When he first auditioned for Thor, he almost lost the job because he had participated in the Australian version of Dancing With the Stars. Studio executives were struggling with a potential clash in the image of a dancing Thor. Another bump in his journey was that, along with a list of well-known names, his competition also consisted of his younger brother Liam Hemsworth, who was then best-known for The Last Song. Liam would go on to do the popular Hunger Games and Independence Day films.
Chris and his co-star Tom Hiddleston’s casting in the first Thor film caused a frenzy as Marvel was expected to cast a big name to play the character. However, in choosing the actor, Marvel Studios were betting on an actor who would go on to star in four standalone films.
In fact, on the tenth anniversary of Thor, Chris poked fun at the mockery he and Tom faced after their casting. He shared a news article that called them “No-names” and also hoped that the money saved from their casting could be used in the special effects of the film.
While Thor, Thor: Dark World, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron launched him into stardom, the franchise still faced criticism. The Thor films were branded boring and drab. Thor: Dark World was especially considered as one of the worst films in the MCU.
However, this changed when Taika Waititi was roped in to direct the third stand-alone film, Thor: Ragnarok. Known for his sharp wit, Waititi took all the “boring” aspects of Thor and turned it into a thrilling, comedic journey. It also took away all the elements that Thor was so dependent on. He lost his father, his sister broke his hammer Mjolnir, he was banished to a planet where he was enslaved and he lost his eye and his signature long hair. At last, Thor’s beloved Asgard was also destroyed.
However, all of that happened with such humour and convinction that the audience changed their view of the Thor films. In fact, Chris displayed his comedic side with such brilliance that people wanted more. Thor: Ragnarok was branded by many as the best film of the MCU. If the film didn’t exist, Thor’s character arc would have probably ended with three films like Iron Man and Captain America.
Chris Hemsworth’s uncanny ability to transform and reinvent his character is the reason we are getting a fourth Thor film. This ability was also visible in Avengers: Endgame. In Infinity War, Thor had lost his brother Loki, as well as failed to stop Thanos from snapping half of the universe into oblivion. In Endgame, we saw a different side of Thor. He was depressed, had an alcohol addiction and gained weight. Even though there were some jokes used in his expense, the ultimate message the makers tried to portray was that one is still worthy despite their depression.