Avengers star Chris Hemsworth admits he nearly quit acting right before the then little-known actor landed the lead role in 2011 Marvel Studios blockbuster Thor.
Despite a bit role in 2009’s Star Trek reboot — where he appeared in its earliest minutes as the doomed father to Kirk (Chris Pine) — Hemsworth told Men’s Health his budding career slowed to a crawl just before he was launched into superstardom.
“I was about to quit,” Hemsworth said.
“I always wanted to act, and one of the first things I wanted to do when I got any money was pay my parents’ house off. I’d asked Dad once when he thought he’d pay it off and he said, ‘Honestly, probably never.’ Most people are in that boat and I wanted to change that.”
Hemsworth, then best known for playing Kim Hyde across nearly 200 episodes of long-running soap opera Home and Away in his native Australia, became “super active with auditions” across an eight-month period, growing “more and more anxious, to the point where I couldn’t harness that energy.”
“I was trying to convince myself I wasn’t nervous before auditions rather than grabbing hold of it and going, [deep intake of breath] ‘Use it, raise up your awareness here, sharpen your focus,’” Hemsworth said.
“And then my mentality changed, which came from being at a point where I was like, ‘I’m going to go back to Australia.’ I had one more audition where I was like, ‘Do this for his house. Think about reasons other than yourself.’
“That was for The Cabin in the Woods, and I got that job, and from there I got Red Dawn. And then I got Thor.”
From there, Hemsworth’s star power grew after Marvel’s 2012 billion dollar grosser The Avengers cemented the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a heavyweight franchise.
Following returns as the Asgardian Avenger in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hemsworth displayed his comedic prowess in the 2015 reboot of Vacation before stealing the show again in 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot, where he appeared as an inept and dumb-but-pretty secretary-turned-Ghostbuster wannabe.
His turns in comedy helped revamp his own Marvel franchise, which underwent a significant metamorphosis with its Taika Waititi-directed third installment Thor: Ragnarok — the franchise’s biggest performer yet at $853 million worldwide.
Hemsworth went on to wield second place billing — after only Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. — in last spring’s Avengers: Infinity War, the first superhero film to win more than $2 billion in box office receipts to become the fourth highest grossing film of all time.
There Thor played a central role, teamed with Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) on a key mission intended to halt the universe-threatening plans of Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Hemsworth next reprises the Thor role in Avengers: Endgame, out April 26, before reuniting with Ragnarok co-star Tessa Thompson to launch a revival of the Men In Black franchise June 14.
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