Chris Hemsworth Says He Isn't Taken Seriously as an Actor Because of His Muscles

“Bodybuilding is seen as a vanity,” the Thor star said of his Marvel movie training

Chris Hemsworth shirtless
Chris Hemsworth. Photo: J Boland/Marvel Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock

Chris Hemsworth is a bona fide movie star, but he believes that he's not considered to be a more "serious" actor because of his muscles.

Hemsworth, 37, has spent hours a day in the gym over the last decade, working on his muscles, to play the part of Thor in the Marvel movies. But while he's put in serious time and effort into looking like the Norse mythological god, Hemsworth thinks that his body-molding work isn't fully appreciated.

"There's an aesthetic that the role requires," he told The Telegraph in a new interview. "Bodybuilding is seen as vanity, whereas if I put on a bunch of unhealthy weight, or got unhealthily skinny for a role, I'd probably be called a serious actor."

And Hemsworth added that he works hard at fitting the role.

"The training across 10 years of doing it is a full-time job," he said. "That and then a 12-hour shooting day — it's a real grind. It's incredibly rewarding, too — you have to look at it like a professional athlete."

Hemsworth is currently filming the next edition in the series, Thor: Love and Thunder, and said that he's "probably the fittest and strongest I've been for all the Thors" right now after 12 months of training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Having this time at home meant I explored different methods, to see how I can manipulate my body with just the right amount of powerlifting and bodybuilding workouts," he said.

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And he learned how to work out smarter, rather than harder, to achieve his current size.

"For years I probably overtrained," he said. "People who do muscle-building often don't realize it's a sport that shouldn't be seven days a week, two hours a day. I was doing that in the previous Thors, and was coming up sorer, with less energy."

Hemsworth, who recently developed his own fitness app called Centr, said that he works with his trainer to identify which areas of the body to focus on each day, but his upper body is the priority, particularly his arms.

"That's what you see the most," he said of his arms. "Working with my trainer, we consider the costume and if it shows a lot of shoulder, or are we gonna see the bicep or the traps. But you want it to be balanced, because there's probably a shirt-off scene somewhere. You don't want to look like Popeye with one section of the body blown up."

And Hemsworth is so good at bulking up that his longtime stunt double, Bobby Holland Hanton, has repeatedly said that he has trouble keeping up.

"Everyone is like, 'Wow, look at the size and him', but I'm like, 'Yes, brilliant, now I have to put on that size as well,' " Hanton said in February. "I text him, I'm like, 'Thanks very much dude, this is going to be even harder this time!" '

Hanton said that maintaining that look is "difficult on the body" for him, but Hemsworth doesn't seem to have an issue.

"I find carrying around the extra weight is difficult and hard to maintain on the ligaments," Hanton said. "But he's all good. Look at him, he's a man mountain."

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