Chris Hemsworth “Thor” Interview For Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’
Marvel Studios presents ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ – the Superhero team-up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Superheroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When Loki and his army threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Directed by Joss Whedon, ‘The Avengers’ (‘Avengers Assemble’ in the UK) stars Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, and Stellen Skarsgard co-star. ‘The Avengers’ is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series of the same name. Look out for the film in cinemas from April 26th in the UK and May 4th in the US.
With The Avengers as a collective, they all have their own egos and issues, one of which is working together – something they are not used to doing.
Chris Hemsworth: Yeah. As powerful and unique as they are, they’re all very different. They’re all leaders in their own right when they’re thrown together. That’s the challenge and the conflict. Who is going to steer this ship, who is in control and when do we put our egos aside? All of us spend time feeling each other out and trying to work out how we fit into the puzzle.
Can you tell us why Thor comes back to Earth in ‘The Avengers’?
Chris Hemsworth: He’s conveniently come back briefly because Odin’s summoned some dark powers from the universe and it’s very costly. But he’s also come back to retrieve Loki, who’s running madness on Earth. He’s being a bit chaotic (laughs). He’s also come back to ask some questions. Loki has been missing and now he’s turned up on Earth, so Thor wants to know why and how did this happen and where did we go wrong?
Thor has a very different arc in this film, compared to ’Thor’?
Chris Hemsworth: Oh yeah. It’s a different sort of arc to ‘Thor.’ In ‘Thor’ it was more of an obvious arc. He started out as an arrogant, petulant kid. By the end of it he had to become a noble warrior and had to learn some humility. In ’The Avengers’ he begins as this noble warrior, with the right intentions, but then all of that is tested in the way of what’s more important, his family values or the protection of civilisation? Or his personal relationship with his brother, or the team he’s fighting with now? It’s more of a subtle arc. What’s more important in ‘The Avengers’ is the stories arc, as opposed to his individual journey. Thor has more of a personal investment in what’s happening than the other Super Heroes because Loki is his brother. The bigger conflict for him is that he’s trying to protect the greater good, but he has some deep questions about what is going on with his brother, with Loki.
The Avengers have this dysfunctional family dynamic, yet at the same time, they’re all relatable to each other in a way?
Chris Hemsworth: It’s like the most dysfunctional family you’d ever meet (laughs). Joss Whedon said early on that they’re all incredibly powerful, but because of that, with their abilities and their powers, they’re very alone as well. Initially they come into this group and think, “We don’t fit together! I run the world, I run this realm…” Yet, because they’re so odd and unique and powerful in their own ways, they do fit together, there’s some comfort in that. Finally they feel slightly “normal” amongst this group, this Avengers team.
Iron Man and Thor don’t agree on how to deal with Loki and they end up on a mountaintop settling their dispute the old fashioned way. How was that scene to shoot?
Chris Hemsworth: Yeah. Thor arrives a little late to the party after The Avengers have captured Loki and he tears the place apart, grabs Loki and disappears. Once they get to the mountaintop, he attempts a heart-to-heart with Loki, but that doesn’t end well and Iron Man shows up and they’re feeling each out other in an incredibly aggressive way. Thor is surprised by the strength of Iron Man and Captain America’s shield and it ends up being a pretty epic battle that basically wipes out the entire mountaintop and forest (laughs).
The thing about fighting on film is that you have to ratchet up the intensity as opposed to the speed. So we were just taking it beat by beat in super slow motion with no emotion and then as the moves start to sink in, you can speed it up to what it needs to be. I enjoy doing my own stunts when I can because I know it adds so much to the final product. You get the blood pumping and adrenaline going, but the reality is that you can be super athletic, but there’s no real athletic ability that prevents you from smashing headfirst into a wall sometimes. It’s just one of those things that hurts a bit, but you get up, brush yourself off and do it again. It’s fun and certainly breaks up the day.
How was it for you working with Robert Downey Jr in ‘The Avengers‘?
Chris Hemsworth: He’s fantastic, he started it all, he’s kind of the Godfather of The Avengers in a sense, you know (laughs)? He has two films under his belt with the franchise before we had any really. There’s certainly been a few times where I’ve said to him, “How do I navigate this, what do you think of this?” He’s very open with his advice and very helpful. It’s such a good bunch as well, Robert as an actor, everything he’s done has been incredible. It was great seeing all of them work, the different styles, getting everyone together in one big scene, it was incredibly exciting.
You’ve also got Mark Ruffalo joining the Marvel universe in this film as Bruce Banner/Hulk, what do you think he brings to that character?
Chris Hemsworth: In Mark Ruffalo you don’t see the Hulk, which I think is a perfect contrast because it’s that vulnerability, that fear of what’s to come if he does become the Hulk. It’s not something that he’s kind of an angry guy and he gets angrier, he’s a really nice, unassuming character. But then pushed in the wrong direction he turns into this monster. It’s great seeing Mark play with that because he has an incredibly endearing quality about him. He has so much humility, there’s no bravado with him…which especially when you know what he can become in this movie, it’s a really nice contrast.
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