A Hero And Loving It

Jun 2, 2012 | Press Room

THE NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE by Cindy Pearlman
May 31, 2012

A Hero and loving it

“This isn’t exactly the manly kind of stuff I’m supposed to share with the press,- Hemsworth admits with a laugh, “but, before I was Thor, I had other superhero dreams. I used to pretend that I was Batman’s sidekick, Robin. I had my own Robin costume.
“Why I wanted to be the sidekick, I just don’t know.- are characters that really don’t belong anywhere else.-

The stunts in that film made Snow White and the Huntsman pale by comparison. “There was a moment when Hulk and Thor are fighting,- Hemsworth says. “Hulk backhands Thor through a wall. I was on a wire being yanked hard out of shot.- Another moment was even more painful.

“I was on a wire and had to land off a cliff,- he recalls. “The first few takes I landed face-first into the dirt. It was so un-superhero-like of me.-
Thor may not have the Marvel Universe prestige of Spider-Man or the X-Men, but Hemsworth enjoys playing the character.

“I like that he has this childlike quality to him,- the actor says. “He truly believes that, if you believe in something and want to do something, then it gets done. He’s like a child who owns his own world. Kids don’t care about someone else’s opinion, they just care about what they want. “Thor is true to who he is as a person.-

Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, but travelled Australia as a boy with his family, including older brother Luke and younger brother Liam. They moved to the Northern Territory and then settled on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne.

“I grew up in a few different places in Australia,- he recalls. “I always had a love of storytelling and film, and finally decided, ‘Why not become an actor?’

He studied English at Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors in Sydney, and got his big break when he was cast on the Australian soap opera Home and Away (2004-2007). In 2006 he also hoofed it up on the Aussie version of A.

Hemsworth decided to test the waters in Hollywood, and made his American debut in Star Trek (2009), playing George Kirk, the future father of James T Kirk (Chris Pine), the legendary starship captain. He landed a legendary role of his own in Thor, and has no regrets.

Well, OK, maybe one. “I didn’t keep the hammer,- Hemsworth says. “My older brother said, ‘Take the hammer home. Take the hammer home! You can show it to everyone who comes over.’ But I just couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t have been right.- Hemsworth, who actually is in three current films -” he has a supporting role in The Cabin in the Woods, filmed in early 2009 but not released until this year -” isn’t sure what he’ll do next. His future dance card is sure to include both Thor 2 and The Avengers 2, however.

“I don’t want to sound hokey about it,- he says, “but I do love these movies with heightened realities. I like the possibility that someone is much more powerful than we are and greater. I think it’s inspiring to watch people who put themselves on the line and sacrifice their own safety for the greater good of others.-

The Avengers has put Hemsworth ahead of his younger brother in the race for stardom, but it’s close: Liam has a key role in a little film called The Hunger Games, and a much bigger role in its upcoming sequel. Even so, Hemsworth insists that there’s no sibling rivalry involved. “I can give my brother a hiding,- he jokes, “but no one else dares say a word about him.

“My dad works in child protection,” Hemsworth says. “Now, that’s a real hero.”

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