Chris Hemsworth looked mighty fine in the movie Thor. How did he get ready for the role?
—Ken Sharkey, Littleton, Colo.
The Aussie actor, 27, who also played Captain Kirk’s father, George Kirk, in the 2009 film Star Trek, says the hardest part of becoming Thor was consuming enough calories—because he had to eat lots of healthy foods, not yummy stuff like hamburgers and pizza, to fill his calorie quota.
“I didn’t mind so much the working out,” he says of the six-month training period, “but I’d never really lifted weights to that capacity beforehand. I had to force-feed myself with 20 chicken breasts, rice and steak, all very boring. None of the fun stuff.”
But the former star of the Australian soap opera Home and Away says he also researched the role, learning about Thor from comic books and from mythology. “I read some things on Norse mythology and this sort of fatalistic view they have that everything’s preordained and that leads the Vikings into this fearless sort of attitude in battle,” he says. “That spoke volumes to me about the character.
“But on set, it was just about making it truthful and finding a way I could relate to it. Instead of thinking, ‘How do I play a powerful god?’ it became about scenes between fathers and sons and brothers.”
Hemsworth is currently filming The Avengers, in which Thor teams with The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America, and which will be filled with plenty of superhero conflict. He has also completed the movies Red Dawn and The Cabin in the Woods.