Last year was frenetic, with Men in Black International and Avengers Endgame so it’s understandable he felt he was owed time out to live the quiet Byron Bay life with his actress wife, Elsa Pataky, and their three children, seven-year-old daughter India and six-year-old twin boys, Tristan and Sasha.
“I had a real come down off the back of the press tour for Avengers,” Hemsworth admitted in a Sunrise interview. “I realised that for so long, I’d been sort of looking to the future and chasing ‘what next?’ … and then it hit me that, well, this is it. The thing that I’ve worked for and dreamt of doing, and I’ve just got to enjoy this moment.”
Before his well-earned hiatus, new thriller Extraction was one of the projects that took him far from his beachside home. He plays black market mercenary Tyler Rake on a mission to save the kidnapped son of a crime lord in the Netflix movie out this week. The shoot took him to India and Thailand for three months back in 2018.
As has become customary for any Hemsworth hit, the role was physically demanding, but also emotionally challenging in portraying a man haunted by the death of his son.
“[There’s a] rawness and authenticity that is hard to fake. Every sort of perspective you have on anything in life changes when you have a child – it’s no longer about you, it’s about them,” he told USA Today. “The idea of that not being the case, or the loss of a child... I can’t imagine anything worse.”
Though he’s mastered the action-packed roles over the years, the running, diving, hand-to-hand combat and high-speed chases took their toll on Hemsworth.
“Not to say I’m pushing my limits or I’m over the hill in any way, but you notice through the years things like, ‘Oooh, there’s a little hitch in my knee that wasn’t there before’… But I felt like it re-energised me,” Hemsworth told USA Today. “It was a kick in the [butt] to say, ‘Come on, there’s still plenty more in the tank’.”
Lucky for Hemsworth, he’s had good friend and personal trainer Luke Zocchi to keep his motivation levels up for the past eight years. It was Zocchi who sculpted the actor’s ripped Thor body for the Marvel films, with the trainer travelling all over the world with Hemsworth to get him in peak physical form for 11 movies and counting.
The actor told Train magazine, “I do train when I’m not playing Thor, but I’m less bulky because I eat less and my workouts are more rounded and less centred around being muscular. I usually put on about 20lbs [9kg] to play Thor.”
Hemsworth is now sharing his knowledge about good food and fitness with his fans through the Centr app, with the help of his equally fit wife Pataky, 43, Zocchi, and an expert health team. Recently, Hemsworth offered Australians “stuck at home” six weeks of free workouts and recipes after gyms around the country closed in the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The app was designed to give people the opportunity to access the team that I’ve used over the years, who’ve had a profound positive impact on my life,” he says.
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