Chris Hemsworth: “Rafa Nadal deserves to be a Marvel superhero”

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The actor, who returns to embody the son of Odn for the eighth time in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, declares himself devoted to Spanish food while admitting that it is time for women to take command in the cinema and in everything the rest

Actor Chris Hemsworth.
Actor Chris Hemsworth.RUSS HOOVER/A-FRAME/ZUMAPRESS/ALAMY LIVE NEWS
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Physiology and Wikipedia both maintain that to laugh we activate at least 12 of the 36 muscles that make up facial expressions. The question now is whether our dozen muscles are worth the same as the dozen of, say, Chris Hemsworth. Keep in mind that, in its most rigorous and deadly sense, the gods do not laugh. And the reason was explained to us some time ago by the quick Jorge de Burgos in ‘The name of the rose’: “Laughter ends fear. Without fear there is no faith. Because without fear of the devil, God is not needed.” Hemsworth (Melbourne, 1983) is obviously not a god, but almost. More specifically, he has been active as a divinity since 2011. That year he incarnated for the first time the exiled son of Odin and, perhaps for this reason (because of the slump of exile), he is the only god with a license to laugh. In Thor: Love and Thunder the fourth installment of the saga and the eighth time that the interpreter embodies the character, he does so not with twelve but with the 12,000 muscles that appear from every inch of his body. Indeed, this is the most brazen and openly wild comedy the troubled Marvel universe has ever produced. the signature Taika Waititi, opens on Friday, there are shrieking goats and Zeus is struck down by his own lightning bolt. Quite a delirium for the fittest of the superheroes who speaks a little Spanish and admires Nadal to have a blast. And everyone with him.

Let’s start talking about muscles. He’s been with her for more than ten years now, isn’t he tempted to get carried away a little?
I remember the first time I played Thor 11 years ago I had to grind myself out in the gym. Live practically there. He made me a different person from everything I grew up with. It is true that a transformation like this is not done alone. You are nothing more than the final piece of a great team of trainers, diet specialists… I say this to make it clear that it is a very meticulous job. But the really complicated part comes later. For depending on which characters you have to lose weight and volume, and then gain it back as soon as Thor shows up. It is a roller coaster where the fluctuations are so brutal that they affect you not only physically but also emotionally. But hey, I don’t want to give a terrifying idea either. It’s also a lot of fun and you learn a lot about yourself, about your body…
Usually an actor who grows disproportionately fat like Robert De Niro or slims down to disease like Christian Bale for a role is hailed as an acting hero by commitment. You’ve been carrying your character for a whole decade, doesn’t this attitude offend you a little?
You get used to this kind of discrimination. I don’t think my commitment is minor. What’s more, I sincerely believe that it is much easier to gain weight sitting on a sofa than to gain it in a healthy, balanced and extremely disciplined way. And then you have to keep it… There comes a time when you let these kinds of comments slide. I don’t understand why it’s so valued that an actor simply fattens himself on pizza for a role.
I wonder if playing god for so long has somehow changed his religious beliefs. Are you more of a believer now than before, or is divinity too mundane for you?
Well, the good thing about playing god is that you meet many other gods and realize that they are all very different from each other and they all have something interesting to say. I try to keep the best of each one.
There is a moment in the film where Natalie Portman’s character makes it clear whose hammer Mjolnir, the source of power, now belongs to. You don’t have to be a psychoanalyst to read a sweet version of a castration there, excuse me… Is it time to hand over the baton to women?
Definitely. We are experiencing a revolution and it is important to see more and more women not only in the roles of leading heroes but also in positions of power in production companies. Action movies have been the exclusive domain of men for too long. My wife just did an action character and she’s amazing [Interceptor, de Matthew Reilly]. As for what Natalie Portman does in Thor… she now owns the hammer. I don’t discover anything if I say that the way the paper has been prepared from the physical point of view has been amazing…
We recently interviewed Victoria Alonso, her boss [la directora de Marvel junto a Kevin Feige y Louis D’Esposito]and spoke of the need for inclusion, of the obligation to offer all possible family models…
The grace of telling stories is precisely telling different stories. Everyone, all ethnic groups and all sexual orientations have to have a place in the cinema and in the Marvel universe. The more diverse the narratives, the better. The idea is that cinema makes you identify with someone who has nothing to do with you. Cinema creates community. That’s what counts.
Perhaps because of what you just said, this is the most unclassifiable Marvel story, the most authorial if you will…
The original idea was anything but conventional. I remember Taika Waititi telling me that he wanted to do a crazy romantic comedy set in space. And that is exactly what we did; run away from any prejudice you have about superhero movies. I think that the film as it is now responds to that general desire to recover the feeling that we all had in the cinema when we were children. That primary sensation that has to do with the thrill of adventure is perhaps being lost due to a cinema that is too artificial and cumbersome. It is about recovering the child that we all carry inside.
Before you mentioned your wife, Elsa Pataky, how are your Spanish classes going?
Wrong. The truth is that we spend a lot of time in Spain and my children speak Spanish. The problem is that I try, I try to speak Spanish with them and instead of helping me they laugh at my accent. That makes it not move forward. But what am I going to say? I love the Spanish culture. Of course the food is amazing. I do not hide that my passion for Spain is my wife’s responsibility.
The last Spaniard to triumph in Australia was Nadal…
He certainly deserves to be a Marvel superhero. He is the absolute best superhero.

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