Chris Hemsworth Takes Blame for ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Failure: ‘I Got Caught Up in the Improv and the Wackiness’ and ‘Became a Parody of Myself’

Chris Hemsworth
Everett Collection

Chris Hemsworth graces the cover of Vanity Fair’s May 2024 issue, where he revealed that he feels Marvel fans deserve another “Thor” movie after the whiff that was 2022’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” The actor already admitted to GQ last year that his fourth standalone “Thor” movie was “too silly” for its own good, but the misstep appears to continue to haunt him.

“I got caught up in the improv and the wackiness, and I became a parody of myself,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t stick the landing.”

While Hemsworth has always been grateful for his career-defining role as Thor, he admitted to the publication that he grew frustrated with the character while playing him in four standalone Marvel films and additional “Avengers” movies.

“Sometimes I felt like a security guard for the team,” Hemsworth said. “I would read everyone else’s lines, and go, ‘Oh, they got way cooler stuff. They’re having more fun. What’s my character doing?’ It was always about, ‘You’ve got the wig on. You’ve got the muscles. You’ve got the costume. Where’s the lighting?’ Yeah, I’m part of this big thing, but I’m probably pretty replaceable.”

For what it’s worth, Hemsworth’s longtime Marvel co-star and Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. refuses to listen to such claims, saying: “First off, Thor as a character was super tricky to adapt — lots of implied limitations — but he and Ken Branagh figured out how to transcend, make him somehow relatable but godlike. Hemsworth is, in my opinion, the most complex psyche out of all us Avengers. He’s got wit and gravitas, but also such restraint, fire and gentleness.”

Thor turned Hemsworth into a big, brawny Hollywood action star, a lane he’s continued to dominate with movies such as Netflix’s “Extraction” films. But the actor yearns for more, telling Vanity Fair he wants to work outside of the action movie genre and collaborate with dramatic filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, Greta Gerwig, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. He revealed Darren Aronofsky, who produces his adventure documentary series “Limitless,” is developing two potential projects with him in mind to star. One is a dark comedy and the other is a sci-fi project.

Next up for Hemsworth is playing the villain role in George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel movie “Furiosa,” which the actor said is his most favorite role since headlining Ron Howard’s 2013 race car movie “Rush.”

“Ron took me out of that typecast space of the muscly action guy and let me play a character with complications and darkness,” Hemsworth said. “I remember thinking at the time, ‘Oh, this is going to change everything.’”

Hemsworth added that “it’s been a long wait” to be able to get another chance to show off more than just his “muscly action guy” chops, but that’s what “Furiosa” is in his eyes. The movie was shot during something of an existential crisis for Hemsworth, as the non-stop flow of his career was taking its toll on him.

“I’d been trying to muscle and beat things into existence for so long, out of obsession and desperation to build this career, and I was just exhausted,” Hemsworth said about needing a break. “I was worried about everything. Nothing was as enjoyable as it once was, or I had imagined it was. I was making back-to-back movies and doing the press tours, and I was married and had three young kids, and it was all happening at the same time in a very short window… You’re sort of just running on fumes, and then you’re showing up to something with little in the tank and you start to pick things apart: Why am I doing this film? Why isn’t this script better? Why didn’t that director call me for that or why didn’t I get considered for this role? Why don’t I get the call-up from Scorsese or Tarantino? I had begun to take it all too serious and too personal.”

With “Furiosa,” Hemsworth’s interest in acting sparked again. It’s unclear when the actor might return as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He clearly wants to give fans the “Thor” movie they deserve, but he also told Entertainment Weekly last year that he wasn’t sure how long he could continue to play the same role. He said then that a potential “Thor 5” would have to be “unpredictable.”

“I don’t want to continue to do it until people are so exhausted that they roll their eyes when they see me come on the screen as that character,” Hemsworth added. “If an audience wants to see it, and if there’s something that we believe is exciting and fun, then great. I’ve loved being able to reinvent that character a few times. I don’t have the answer yet, but I would love to try and [figure out] how we can do that again and keep it a little unpredictable.”

“Furiosa” is set to world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival before it opens in theaters nationwide May 24 from Warner Bros. Head over to Vanity Fair’s website to read Hemsworth’s full cover story.

From Variety US