This was the year when this one-time soap star’s hard work paid off. As he prepares to reprise his breakout role as Asgardian superhero Thor, GQ’s Man of the Year tells how success began to smile on him once he stopped trying to force it.
When he was a boy growing up in Melbourne, Chris Hemsworth and most of the kids he knew were obsessed with Star Wars. They’d sit there, hour after hour, hypnotised by the costumes, the fantasy, the epic and timeless battle between good and evil.
Over and over again, they’d rewind and press play. Hemsworth has lost count of the times he watched the film, before charging into his backyard to recreate scenes as Han Solo.
Earlier this year the 29-year-old actor was given cause to remember those days. “It was definitely a dream scenario,” he says. “I was on The Avengers publicity tour and I had a real moment where it felt like I was part of something special. Kids were looking at The Avengers like I used to look atStar Wars. They were running around pretending to be us.”
It was a high point in a glittering year of highs. But even if it seems 2012 was when Hemsworth’s star exploded over the Hollywood hills, with the release of The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman and Joss Whedon’s brilliant The Cabin in the Woods, it’s actually the end of a long, constant slog for the actor. “This year may appear like it was big,” he says, “but it’s only because all the films I’ve been working on have finally come out. The past four or five years have just been a blur.”
For Hemsworth, the road to Los Angeles started at a cattle station on the Central Arnhem Road. Bulman, in the Northern Territory, is 400km east-south-east of Darwin.
“It was a different world,” he says. “There were crocodiles and buffalo. We were isolated, one of two white families. We saw a lot of corroborees and tribal dancing. I have a wider understanding for the Aboriginal situation because of my time there. It’s an insight into that world that most people don’t get.”
Hemsworth and his family moved back to Melbourne when he was still young, and he signed up for film classes and drama school. In 2004 he auditioned for Home and Away. He didn’t get that part, but was signed up to play Kim Hyde — which he did for three years.
“Whenever you mention Home and Away, people list all the Aussie actors who’ve come over to the US from it and been successful,” he says. “You’ve got Naomi Watts and Simon Baker. Heath Ledger did a stint there. Hugh Jackman…” He stops. “No, I don’t think he did.”
Read the full article in GQ Australia's 2012 Men of the Year issue. On sale now.
damn he looks good