Hollywood heartthrob and Avengers: Endgame star Chris Hemsworth, 35, has seen huge success since he first graced our screens on Home and Away in 2004, going on to become globally recognised as Marvel superhero Thor. Now, the Byron Bay-based husband of Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, 42, and dad to India, 7, and 5-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan, has re-evaluated his priorities with a focus on spending more time at home.
Speaking to WHO during his recent trip to Bali to promote his new blockbuster, Men In Black: International (watch the trailer below), in which he plays Agent H alongside co-star Tessa Thompson, who plays Agent M, the Australian star talks about the success of his marriage, returning to Home and Away and why people in Byron Bay are “sick of him”.
Have you spent much time in Bali?
It’s only a five-hour flight from Australia and I’ve probably been here four or five times on surf trips, and then I got married on a little island called Sumba just off here in a place called Nihiwatu, which is a little eco resort – so I love this place.
How did you feel about joining the MIB universe in Men in Black: International?
I have a fair share of anxiety about anything I take on, especially something that has history and legacy like Men in Black with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. I didn’t want to try and remake something that had been done before. I wanted to pay due respect to what had been done, but do something different and this was that chance.
How do you and wife Elsa Pataky keep your marriage strong?
We both have a great amount of enthusiasm for what we believe in even though we’re both stubborn. We’ve been building a house for a while now and that’s always fun, isn’t it? I think the vast majority of divorces happen over building a house, so I’m thankful we’ve survived that.
How do you figure out the balance of career and family?
We’ve been lucky that things have sort of fallen in a sequence where we weren’t working at the same time for any great deal. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the industry that have young kids, and there’s just not a simple answer to it. More and more now that the kids are definitely planted there in Byron Bay, I want to stay home.
Are you trying to work more in Australia?
There isn’t a project I don’t look at now or read that I don’t go, "Can I shoot this back home?" My kids are … heavily implanted in school now so the older they get the trickier it is to upheave that world and move somewhere else. So, for that reason, plus my love for being there and not wanting to get on a plane, I’m all about bringing the work to me.
You also volunteer at the school tuckshop. How did your kids’ friends react?
My wife does it more regularly than I do but I lend a hand when I can. I stay within the canteen area and they wander by occasionally and do a double take when they see me, but I’m a regular parent and people are kind of sick of me there, which is nice.
You could always return to Home and Away which would keep you in Oz?
That’s right. It’s closer to home than Neighbours – Neighbours would be too far!
You wear the iconic tux in MIB, but what do you feel most comfortable in? Are you a beach thong guy?
You mean thongs like flip-flops, right? I remember my dad had a pair of leather flip-flops while he was visiting in LA and said very loudly when he was checking out of a hotel … “Mate, I’ve just left me black thong in the room. Can you go grab it?” And the whole room went quiet! [Laughs]. I was like, "Dad, that means something different here!" But I like thongs, the kind on your feet and shorts and a T-shirt.
For more of our interview with Hemsworth, check out this week's issue of WHO. Men in Black: International is in cinemas now.