Chris Hemsworth Interview For ‘Thor: The Dark World’
‘Thor: The Dark World’ continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor” and ‘The Avengers,’ Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos… but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves… but our universe itself.
The likes of Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Jaimie Alexander (Sif), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), Rene Russo (Frigga), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Stellan Skarsgård (Dr. Erik Selvig) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) reprise their roles from the first ‘Thor’ film, while Zack Levi plays Fandral, Christopher Eccleston plays the villainous Malekith The Accursed, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Algrim and Kurse. Directed by Alan Taylor, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ is set for an October 30th release in the UK and a November 8th bow in the US.
Playing Thor for the third time now, how is that relationship as an actor to your character? I can imagine your understanding of him and all his quirks deepens every time….?
Chris Hemsworth: Definitely, and I love that. I love playing the character. The trick is each time to find new ways to make the character have some sort of advance or growth from the last one, and not repeat things you’ve already done. And that’s the trick of the director and writer and actor coming together and saying, “What’s the next step? Where are we going to take him?”
Whenever you play a character you’re always trying to find a conflict and think, “What is it that he’s trying to work through?”, as opposed to just being there and being central to the situation. I think you’ve got to make sure the hero is a big catalyst to the resolution, that he’s not just there to step in at the very end and save the day. He has to be proactive throughout, you want a journey. There’s a definite conflict within Thor about where his place was. Was it with Jane on Earth or was it in Asgard, and where does his allegiance lie? Also, he’s beginning to understand the darker sides of what it truly means to be king and the burden of the throne.
‘Thor: The Dark World’ sees Thor’s ability to appreciate the bigger picture and to realize he is on the verge of becoming king….
Chris Hemsworth: Yeah. For Thor, this story is really picking up from the first ‘Thor’ film in a lot of ways. It delves into his questions about his brother, how they ended up here and what happened to their relationship. But the bigger picture now is that Thor is eventually stepping into the role of king – or he’s about to, potentially. He feels that he deserves to be there and also he has to come terms with and understand the responsibilities that becoming king carries. His senses are also now being awakened and he has a greater understanding of the world and its problems.
It is really nice to be able to approach a character again, for the third time, and to attack it in a different way with a different director and to have a whole new bag of ideas and influences and ways to approach it. I think I grew up as well, as you do through time, so I think that – hopefully – echoed into what I was doing with Thor on this film (laughs). It was nice to have a more mature Thor who’s less petulant and arrogant as he was in the first one, at times. Him transitioning into being more responsible was very interesting to me, and the sacrifices – that was fun to play with.
You get to really develop Thor and the polarizing relationship between him and his brother Loki, which takes a new turn. I can imagine that was interesting? It’s definitely a relationship the fans and audience have took too…..
Chris Hemsworth: In the very first film Loki and Thor as brothers had a friendship where there was less hatred involved. We get to a place in this one where there’s more of that this time around again. Thor gets to ask Loki what this is all about and how they got to this point in their relationship. Thor gets to ask Loki, “What do you want? What is this about? Why? How did we get here?” And he also gets to apologize. But in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ he’s able to confront Loki and say, “It’s about time that you recognize your role in this. You know, it wasn’t all everyone else’s fault.” And that was nice. In ‘The Avengers’ it was us yelling at each other and butting heads, and that happens a bit in this, too, but for the most part I think it’s a far more interesting dynamic.
What is it like seeing Tom Hiddleston bring Loki to life, in such a way that audiences can’t help but love this “bad guy”….?
Chris Hemsworth: It’s true (laughs)! Tom brings so much to Loki. People love the character. He brought such empathy to Loki that audiences were conflicted. He’s the villain but we kind of love him. Any time you can do that, it makes it so much more interesting. Some of my favorite scenes are with Tom in every film we’ve done. It’s great.
With Tom also taking on his character for the third time, I can imagine that the relationship you two built during ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers’ helped enrich your performances?
Chris Hemsworth: There’s certainly a shorthand with this being the third film we’ve shot together now. You don’t spend a chunk of your shooting time getting to know one another. We were able to pick up where we left off and we’ve developed a great friendship along the way. From the beginning, we were lucky – we just had the chemistry and the same kind of enthusiasm. It’s a relationship I really look forward to playing and delving into everything, in being able to ask the questions Thor and Loki haven’t had the acute focus to do so yet. And this film we had such a great opportunity to do that. I’ve got so much love for Tom.
The relationship between Thor and Jane Foster also gets put to the test when the two reunite. Thor’s not in Jane’s good books to start with….
Chris Hemsworth: (Laughs) She’s not too happy at first, but I think she comes to understand that he’s been saving the universe – so that’s not a bad excuse, it’s perhaps the greatest excuse you can possibly give (laughs). Jane’s been wondering where the hell he is and where the hell he’s been, and why he hasn’t contacted her since he left. But the two of them have to figure out whether or not this is a realistic relationship. And what I think takes over is that they both see that they really do feel incredibly strongly about each other, so regardless of everything else, they’re thinking with their hearts and their heads, and that alternates. But that was a really interesting to thing to explore.
What was it about director Alan Taylor’s vision and his approach to the story and characters that appealed to you?
Chris Hemsworth: He’s fantastic. Alan’s got a great sense of story and a need to find the truth in this story and not have it be hokey and ridiculous, you know? He kept trying to ground it in some way. I think very much like the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, no matter how mythical that world got, it was always grounded in reality. Asgard does look like a place you could see, that exists, not just a set. There is a worn quality to the sets and they look like they have been lived in.
“The Dark World” is a reference to the planet the Dark Elves are from, but also Alan’s take on it was that this story is a darker transition into adulthood. It shows the darker side of growing up, I guess. With the maturity and the responsibility and the secrets, it becomes about what the people of Asgard and the universe need to know versus what they want to know. And for example, while Thor often disagrees with his father Odin, it’s a much more respectful manner of disagreeing (laughs). Alan was very interested in that.
Look out for another interview with Chris Hemsworth next week for the film’s US release.
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