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Thor - Chris Hemsworth interview

Thor, Chris Hemsworth

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CHRIS Hemsworth talks about bringing the iconic Marvel superhero Thor to the big screen and working with director Kenneth Branagh.

He also talks about developing his relationship with Tom Hiddleston and working with CGI.

Q. When did you first become aware of Thor?
Chris Hemsworth: It was pretty much when I got the part – six months before I received a stack of comic books. I knew vaguely a little bit about the character but I wasn’t sure where from. I probably knew more about the Viking/Norse mythology sort of section of it all. So, when I got the part it was about educating myself and going through the books.

Q. How important was it to nail the relationship between Thor and Loki? How hard did you work on that?
Chris Hemsworth: Sometimes you get lucky and you work with people you get along with and that just makes it an easier process. It’s easier to find the little hooks into the relationship. We both know what it’s like to have siblings and have that rivalry and we had so much fun playing around with it.

Q. How did you find the green screen acting?
Chris Hemsworth: We were very fortunate in that there was actually far less green screen than I think people imagine. We had these beautiful big sets that we were on and could interact with and be a part of… the smaller piece of green screen that we had, we thankfully had Ken to fill us with a visual and very vivid picture of what was going on. But it is a whole other skill. It’s a very sort of numbing feeling being on green screen and the hum of the lights – everything’s very sort of hypnotic and you need to really bring your energy up. It’s different to being on a set where big glaciers have been built, or in a big throne room, and you feel like you’re part of that world.

Q. How intimidating was it to be faced by Anthony Hopkins in full God-like mode?
Chris Hemsworth: Walking in this, the idea of standing opposite Anthony Hopkins in God-like, regal outfit… and he has that quality in my mind in every film, was intimidating. But I’ve got to say the moment I got on set and met him I couldn’t have felt more supported and comfortable. He is extremely collaborative and kind and has a great sense of humour. He has a great passion for filmmaking and story-telling and a number of times he’d just turn to me and say: “Isn’t this great? Isn’t Ken wonderful?” But that was the vibe on set… it was such an enjoyable experience.

Q. Did knowing there was going to be an Avengers movie affect how you played Thor in this one?
Chris Hemsworth: When I came on with Thor there was, yeah, certainly the knowledge that we would have Avengers in the future. But no, it didn’t affect the way I was playing Thor. Thor was certainly what I had right in front of me and in order to develop Thor and to use him in Avengers it became about what I had right there and then.

Q. How much does wearing the costume help when working against green screen and getting into character?
Chris Hemsworth: It helped a hell of a lot. I remember first putting the costume on having read the comic books for the previous sort of six months and imagining how I was going to play this guy and convincing yourself and everyone else that this is what it was going to be. The costumes were so incredibly detailed and sold such an image that you put it on and for the first time really you feel like the character. It certainly makes our job easier. It makes you stand different, it makes you walk different, and it was just another layer to add on and work with.

Q. Did Kenneth Branagh give you any good advice to take on board as an actor?
Chris Hemsworth: I find that I always try and listen for quotes and find quotes that can help me in interviews and things, but it often doesn’t happen as simple as that. For me, what I got from Ken was the whole process and his attitude to work and his love for what he was doing… the preparation and enthusiasm. It was an overall thing I got personally from the way he lived and conducted himself on set. It wasn’t a sort of sit down, one sort of classic line necessarily.

Read our review of Thor

Read our interview with Kenneth Branagh