Avengers star Hemsworth and Pataky will soon celebrate nine years of marriage. That’s probably an eternity in Hollywood years. They share three children – daughter, India Rose, 7, and twin sons, Tristan and Sasha, 5. And just like parents all over the planet (and maybe some on Asgard), Hemsworth and Pataky argue (and presumably make up while looking impossibly sexy).
“Nothing is as easy and perfect as it looks,” a candid Pataky says. “We have those moments where we shout at the kids and then we feel like horrible parents and we have to work at being a couple like everyone else.
“There are those moments where you fight, and I think you have to put a lot of effort into [your marriage]. As much effort asyou put into your work, you have to put into your marriage and into being a dad and amum. And it’s constant work.”
Some might say Pataky and Hemsworth were destined to be together. When she was a 15-year-old back in Madrid she had a Thor symbol inked on her right shoulder because she was fascinated by the symbol and, she told Vogue Australia in 2018, she found the legend of the Norse god to be “so beautiful”. Now she’s married to Thor.
Pataky is on the publicity trail for her latest health and wellbeing book, Strong. It’s rippling with exercise routines and recipes and reasons for getting off the couch and hitting the gym, the pavement or the beach. We all need them. Even Pataky. The Fast and the Furious star admits there are times when she wasn’t the super-fit wonder woman she is.
“I was in LA, I was lonely, with nothing to do and nothing was going right, not auditions,” she remembers. “Of course, instead of exercise, I just wanted to watch a movie on the sofa. I had a friend who started kickboxing. I said, ‘I’m going with you because I don’t have the strength to go to a gym to work out. I started getting stronger in my mind and the endorphins gave me more confidence and suddenly things started to be different.”
Pataky eventually moved away from LA to Byron Bay with Hemsworth. But even now, she has moments when she struggles to find the motivation to exercise.
“We all have excuses,” she concedes. “There are times now when I would love to sit on the sofa and watch a movie. But at night-time, if I haven’t had the time to train, I feel anxious. It’s 10pm and I’m training in the gym because it makes me feel better. I feel like I need it. I don’t recommend this is the best thing to do, but it works for me because I go to bed feeling better.”
One of Pataky’s pointers for a better life is to get off your phones and screens two hours before going to bed. Really? “It’s very easy to say it, but really hard to do it,” she says. “I have days I do it and days I don’t. It’s something to start with. Everything starts with a little tiny thought.”
Phones, in general, appear to be a sore point for Pataky. When one of their children asked Hemsworth why he didn’t spend time on his phone when they were at school, rather than when they were at home, it left the couple feeling “so guilty”.
“It’s so crazy how even your kids haveto come and say that,” she says. Now, they’re looking to buy phones which can only be used for calls and messages. No internet. Good luck.
When it comes to mealtimes, Pataky says she tends to cook the kids’ meals, while Hemsworth handles the dinners for the adults.
“Some days it’s amazing,” she says of his cooking, “and some days it’s not that edible. But I want to eat it because I’m so hungry. I think great chefs try things and that’s what he does, and he enjoys it so much.”
Pataky and Hemsworth seem fairly relatable (with their phone troubles, especially). But as celebrities, they’re constantly in the public gaze, even in Byron Bay.
How does she deal with being under the microscope?
“Not very well,” she says. One thing she’s concerned about is people flying drones with cameras over her home.
She and Hemsworth have built a mansion estimated to be worth $20 million.
“I’m so scared of all these drones in my life,” she says. “They just come in and take photos of my house. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my kids in the pool, and that’s my private space and we’re naked and we’re free to do that, and there’s going to be drones up the top taking photos. I’m really angry about that.”
Fortunately, Pataky still has plenty to laugh about. Like her husband’s jokes, for one. On a recent Instagram post about her book, Hemsworth pretended to be Pataky.
“He took the phone and he’s such a good comedian,” she says. “The way he tells things with a sense of humour, I just love.” Along with his cooking. Mostly.
Strong by Elsa Pataky (Plum, RRP $34.99, Photography: Georges Antoni) is out now.