In ‘Red Dawn,’ a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of paratroopers dropping from the sky. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young men and women seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the “Wolverines”, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and fight their enemy. In the film, Chris Hemsworth plays Jed Eckert, the unofficial leader of the Wolverines. The likes of Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Brett Cullen, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan also star, with long-time stunt co-ordinator Dan Bradley (the Bourne films, Three Kings) making his directorial debut. ‘Red Dawn’ is out now in the US. Expect a UK release date soon.

What initially appealed to you about this role? Was there something in your own life that you could draw on to play Jed?

Chris Hemsworth: There were a bunch of different levels and things going on, and for me it was a story about brothers and friends and family. And I’ve got two brothers, so having that in my life, it was something I could draw from for the film, that experience, brotherly experience. And I think finding the truths of the journey of my character, and in relationship to the other characters in the movie, that was definitely interesting to work with.

How did the training process with the marines help inform your performance? Speaking to you for some of your other roles, you’ve said how much you enjoy training and learning skills?

Chris Hemsworth: Yeah, definitely! I had a good six weeks of training with Jon Barton, an ex-marine, and other marines and guys from the army. There was weapons training, movement training with a gun, hand signals – we done a lot of training! And just hanging around those guys and getting a vibe of it and listening to the stories that they told. They gave me a great insight into that world. That really helped inform the character, it was incredibly helpful.

I can imagine the boot camp was invaluable in helping you bond with the rest of the cast as well?

Chris Hemsworth: More important than anything, that was what we got from it, the individual relationships that developed out of it with each other and as a group. It was kind of even more important than the weapon training, that sort of came secondary I think. It was great, it was a really great opportunity. We would have little BB pellets that we were shooting each other with – which was a nice introduction, it was like, “Hey, how are you going? My names Chris, sorry for shooting you,” (laughs). Watching what happened at boot camp when everyone came together was fantastic because we were supposed to have been friends for a long time in the film, so the time we spent together in boot camp was helpful in building that intimacy.

You character is a lot more “world-weary” than the other characters in ‘Red Dawn’?

Chris Hemsworths: Yeah. When my character left home to go into the military he was a great football player and had a bunch of thing going on for him. But, he threw them away for various reasons, including the disillusion of his family structure. There’s a lot of regret and lots of guilt for having done that. And he carries all of that around with him. Plus, who knows what he’s seen overseas, as well as through his war experiences.

Through all of the action in the film there’s an underlying romantic interest between your character and Adrianne Palicki’s Toni, which almost takes a back seat to the immediate needs they’re all faced with….?

Chris Hemsworth: Jed was never really attracted to her before, he just saw her as his brothers friend and she was a couple years younger than him. He knew who she was, but when he comes back from the war six years later she’s grown up into this beautiful woman. All of a sudden he’s like, “Wow, I can’t remember you looking like that!” (Laughs) So in the very first scene there’s obvious chemistry and it kicks off. As the film moves along they become closer and closer. She’s a little older than some of the other kids so they form that bond, and I think he leans onto her for support through a lot of this, and vice versa.