Chris Hemsworth says that the criticism of MCU movies by his directing heroes is “super depressing,” and shares that the mixed reviews behind Thor 4 may have been a result of the film’s team having “too much fun.”
Speaking to British GQ for a profile published on Tuesday, the Extraction and Furiosa star opened up about life after a 22-string of movies since his appearance in the first Thor. Part of that conversation focused in on how Marvel films have been received and discussed within the industry over the last two decades.
Generally addressing criticism the movies have faced from major directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, Hemsworth expressed disappointment over their comments. “That’s super depressing when I hear that,” Hemsworth told the magazine. “There goes two of my heroes I won’t work with. I guess they’re not a fan of me.”
He goes on to explain that scrutiny of Marvel Studios movies and their impact on the state of theatrical releases isn’t something he loves amid “so much fragility” in the industry, and adds that he doesn’t “think any of us have the answer, but we’re trying.”
“I’m thankful that I have been a part of something that kept people in cinemas. Now, whether or not those films were to the detriment of other films, I don’t know,” he continues. “I don’t love when we start scrutinizing each other when there’s so much fragility in the business and in this space of the arts as it is… I say that less to the directors who made those comments, who are all, by the way, still my heroes, and in a heartbeat I would leap to work with any of them. But I say it more to the broader opinion around that topic.”
Hemsworth also assessed whether he’d return to play Thor, noting that he has enjoyed the various iterations of the character that have existed both within the hero’s individual franchise and outside of it despite having admittedly gotten “sick of the character pretty quick every couple of years.”
“I love the experience,” he said. “I love the fact that I’ve been able to do something fairly different throughout the process. Thor 1 and 2 were their own thing, Thor 3 and 4 were a very different feel… and then even Avengers, the Lebowski Thor, the Infinity War Thor, due to different directors and I think mostly my own need to do something different.”
That different take from director Taika Waititi earned Thor: Ragnarok praise and Thor: Love and Thunder mixed reviews, the response to the latter Hemsworth chalking up to people thinking it was too silly.
“I think we just had too much fun. It just became too silly,” Hemsworth reflected. “It’s always hard being in the center of it and having any real perspective… I love the process, it’s always a ride. But you just don’t know how people are going to respond.”
Still, in general, he’s always open to “seeing what they have to offer creatively, if there is something new,” but for now, “I really wanna do some other stuff for a while.”
Some of that other stuff is Mad Max, a role he said he came into “exhausted,” but that within the first week of rehearsals with director George Miller, had his creative energy reignited. It was “by far the best experience of my career, and something I feel the most proud of,” he told British GQ. Now he’s “on the hunt for more George Millers. Or more of George Miller, if he’ll have me.”
The rest of the interview is more sobering, with Hemsworth discussing how raising a family with wife and fellow actor Elsa Pataky, the recent loss of his grandfather and Jeremy Renner’s snowplow accident have contributed to him taking a pause on acting and made him think carefully about how he’s spending his time in and beyond Hollywood.
As Hemsworth approaches 40 and after discovering through his series Limitless that he has two copies of a gene that make him significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, he said he still feels, “like I’m 25, and I’ve got heaps of time. Now I’m like, ‘Oh, I could be halfway. More than halfway.’”
“The reality of ‘I’m not going to be here forever’ is sinking in,” he said. “Everything has more importance now. Because of the realization that this isn’t going to last forever.”
Everything is being re-evaluated with Hemsworth following years of back-to-back projects, including how a job might take away from his time with Pataky and his three children. He’s also thought more about the legacy of his work, noting that “I don’t want to leave a pile of rubbish behind,” while admitting the internet has let him know “there’s a few misses there.”
This self-reflection was spurred in part by two other events in his life — the death of his grandfather and Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner’s near-fatal snowplow accident. When it comes to Renner, Hemsworth says that “none” of the Avengers cast text chain “really knew how serious it was,” when it came to the Hawkeye star’s injuries. “I think anything like that, it’s an immediate realization of ‘Wow, any of us can go at any minute…’” he said.
He also spoke of his late grandfather, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and who passed away at 93. “My uncle specifically said, ‘He’s remembered as a good bloke.’ And if he knew, or if someone told him that’s how he would be remembered, how incredibly proud he would feel,” Hemsworth recounted.
“It made me think about my own life,” Hemsworth continued. “And it wasn’t about career or anything. It was about being remembered as someone who was good and kind and contributed something of value… I certainly don’t think about the films I’m going to leave behind and how people are going to remember me in that sense. I hope that people think of me fondly and that I was a good person. That I was a good bloke. Like my grandpa.”