Chris Hemsworth Interview For ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’
In the epic action-adventure ‘Snow White and the Huntsman,’ Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscar-winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power. Directed by acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist, Rupert Sanders, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Noah Huntley, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Steven Graham, and Nick Frost. The film arrives in cinemas June 1st.
This classic fairy tale has had many incarnations. How would you describe this particular take on Snow White?
Chris Hemsworth: It’s kind of like Snow White on steroids. In the sense of, thematically it’s there, but ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ really takes on a life of its own, and it’s its own story – which I loved. The Huntsman wasn’t very prominent in the original, but then in this he’s there. And even romantically it goes into a different direction to what we know. I love the scale of it as well, you know? The fact that it reminded me of ‘Lord of the Rings.’ And the locations, Rupert was very motivated to not shoot on green screen, he wanted to it to be real locations so we had snow-capped mountains, real Castles, in the mud, in the rain, real Cathedrals. There was such a benefit from that. Special FX, they’re great these days but there’s nothing like a real location. Even as an actor it helps you involve yourself easier. Then as an audience it just looks so much more richer, I really loved that about it.
I heard at first you were apprehensive about taking on this part because of ‘Thor.’ Two fantastical, epic stories….
Chris Hemsworth: Yeah. Initially I got sent the script, it was just as ‘Thor’ come out, and coming off the back of that I didn’t want to do another fantasy-based film. I thought, “Ah, it’s too similar.” But then I read the script and I loved it. Then I met with Rupert and that was really it for me when I jumped on-board. I mean, he shot this five-minute trailer as a pitch for the film in about two days. It looked like he had spent five months on it and $100 million, but he shot it for nothing. So I thought, “Wow, if he can do that with that kind of budget, then imagine what he can do on a real scale.” Also his pitch for story, he wasn’t just visually creative and a genius, which he is, but he had a real take on who these characters were. His understanding of story….and I think that’s what makes these sort of films work, the combination of visuals and locations, but then there’s got to be story and character at the center of it. And that was all down to Rupert.
How did you find it working with Rupert, with his visual style and his storytelling abilities?
Chris Hemsworth: He knows how to tell such a vivid story in such a short amount of time with such great imagery. Everyday we’d be on set and he’d be like, “What if we put the camera up here and you do this,” he’d improvise with it and just get amazing, amazing shots. You either have an eye for those kind of things or you don’t. He just sees the world from a different point of view. Joining the film, I loved the script, and then I met with Rupert and saw visually how creative he was. We had a lot of discussions about character and story and I was inspired by him. I love these sort of films; big, fantastical, epic stories that have a real heart at the centre of them.
You and Kristen Stewart have a great dynamic in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman,’ how was it working with her?
Chris Hemsworth: Like with her character, Snow White, Kristen has a real strong sense of right and wrong, and justice. They both have passion behind their motives. She was extremely protective of her character on set, like, “No no, this is where she should go, this is what she should do.” And that’s great, there’s nothing worse than someone sitting on the fence with a character, not really brave enough to commit to something. Whereas Kristen grabbed it and went for it. Everyone else follows then, you know? She set the standard. We had a great amount of fun too, in-between takes and off set it was a great group of people. Kristen was fantastic.
I heard you she gave you a good punch as well?
Chris Hemsworth: (Laughs) There was one fight sequence with Kristen, it wasn’t even a fight sequence it was a punch that she had to throw. We had rehearsed it a couple of times and it was fine. But then three or four takes in she got a little close and….punched me in the face (laughs). It was a good punch too! I said, “You’ve never hit anyone before? Your not a professional boxer?”
What was it like working opposite Charlize Theron as this incredibly icy, intimidating Evil Queen?
Chris Hemsworth: Charlize is very intimidating as The Queen. There’s no doubt that she would scare the hell out of you if you were standing opposite her (laughs). When she’s sitting up on the throne, she has this icy, cold, evil stare that she throws at you. I wouldn’t want to fight her (laughs). She’s incredible. My first couple of weeks of the shoot was supposed to be pretty minimal. I had come off shooting ‘The Avengers’ and went straight into this, I didn’t have much prep time but they were like, “Don’t worry, the schedule is light.” Then the day I get there they said, “Ah, we’ve changed a couple of things. Your first scene is tomorrow, it’s with Charlize and it’s a big scene in the Castle.” I was thinking, “I haven’t even met her, I haven’t even rehearsed, I don’t even know some of the lines,” (laughs). So that was an intimidating set to walk onto. But she is so good that you can’t help but be sucked into the moment. She’s scary when she’s playing the Queen, when she’s eye-balling you down (laughs).
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