Chris Hemsworth on ‘Thor’: ‘The first one is good, the second one is meh’

hemsworth gq

The cover line for the September issue of GQ is “Chris Hemsworth: Badass, Feminist Hero, Super Dad.” Inside the magazine, the headline is “Chris Hemsworth Is Post-Hunk.” As I was reading the piece, I became really sad though. It’s not that Hemsworth comes across as a bad guy, or that he says anything stupid – he does not, on both counts. It’s just that we set the bar so low for conventionally attractive white men. Nothing he says in GQ convinces me that he’s anything other than a completely normal dad and a husband who is away from his family for large stretches of time for work. Talking about his family doesn’t make him a feminist, and taking an occasional role in a comedy film doesn’t make him “post-hunk.” As I said, he comes across fine here. But can we stop building up dudes when they’re merely doing average things? “Oh, he adores his daughter, GIVE HIM AN AWARD.” You can read the GQ piece here. Some highlights:

His daughter was upset recently when he left for work: “She’s normally like, ‘Yeah, see you, Daddy. Cool.’ She was like, ‘Papa! Papa! Papa!’ She doesn’t always call me Papa, either. I wasn’t, like, sobbing, but…” But it shattered him.

He tried to be a “bad boy” briefly when he came to Hollywood: “I remember trying to be Colin Farrell. Thinking, ‘People love the bad boy.’ Going out and being sort of reckless. But no one cared. There wasn’t the presence of paparazzi, nor the presence of social media, nor the immediacy of all these platforms.”

People who knew him were surprised when he was typecast as an action hero type: “It was quite jarring for my family and friends when I was on-screen doing a straight, heroic, sort of overly masculine kind of thing.”

His new film, Bad Times at the El Royale: “It’s got a kind of Tarantino energy to it. It’s a thriller and a drama, but there’s some humorous moments—in an insane way. I just want to be surprised. I have a real fear of being bored.”

His early years on Aussie soap opera Home and Away: “I look back at that time, and I go, ‘Man, you were 19 years old, you were living on the northern beaches of Sydney.’ I was getting paid 3,000 bucks a week, which was a lot of money where I’d come from. I was surfing in the middle of the day on set if I had a break, I was experiencing fame, I was a young single guy. Why didn’t you enjoy that? We can wish years by saying, ‘Ah, when I get here it’ll be okay. When I get here it’ll be okay.’ We just keep moving that bar until we get to that place.”

The Thor franchise: “The first one is good, the second one is meh. What masculinity was, the classic archetype—it just all starts to feel very familiar. I was so aware that we were right on the edge.”

His career now: “I really do feel a sense of ease for the first time in years. I don’t mean that as an assessment of my achievements. I just mean I’m content with what’s going on and relaxed and open about it… I came into Hollywood thinking I had to be Russell Crowe. I loved his performances, and because of my physicality and my size, that was the obvious choice. I think I was aware that it could kind of get me in the door. But it wasn’t me.”

[From GQ]

The piece features quotes from Elsa about how Chris is a good father and how she knew very early on when they were dating that they would have a family together. I believe that, just like I believe that Australian men are just *built* differently when it comes to marriage and domestic life. I’m sure that there are some Aussie men out there who are commitment-phobic douchebags, but over and over again, it just seems like every Aussie dude is like “I met this girl when I was 19 and I married her and we’ve been together for fifty years now and it’s still amazing.” American men are rarely like that. They’re not built that way as a general rule.

As for all the talk about masculinity and how he doesn’t want to play up his natural masculine energy… I mean… sure. I get it. He doesn’t want to be the beefcake, forever and ever. But maybe he shouldn’t bad-mouth the movies that got him here?

Cover and photos courtesy of GQ.

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68 Responses to “Chris Hemsworth on ‘Thor’: ‘The first one is good, the second one is meh’”

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  1. Maya says:

    The third one was brilliant…

    • Char says:

      The first ones were really “Loki”, the dramatic strutcture was more fitted for Tom Hiddleston than Chris Hemsworth. The third one is great, the director finally discovered what to do with Thor and it shows.

      • Jamee says:

        Speaking of Loki, what happened to Tom Hiddleston? Based on imdb website, he is not working on anything right now (film or theatre). No future work at all for the next few years. His last project listed there is Avengers Infinity War, which was shown months ago (and his Loki was killed off in the first five minutes of the movie). It is almost like he is semi-retired as an actor. I know he doesn’t need the money, but I am just sad that someone who is as talented and as hard-working as Tom is not getting any movie offers. And from what I have seen from his videos, he seem to be a gentleman and very polite and respectful to everybody. People liked working with him. He is not exactly bad to the eyes either. Everything seemed to be doing great when he first came out as Loki. At what point, Loki was even more popular than Thor. What went wrong for Tom? Was it because of his past association with a certain popstar? The widely-mocked Golden Globes acceptance speech? I am just honestly bewildered and curious. I do hope he comes back.

      • Nanny to the rescue says:

        The last I heard (unconfirmed info) he’s working on that documentary on South Sudan.

        But it does seem that the negative media attention took its toll on him. Too bad, he was a good guy.

      • Meganbot2000 says:

        Tom has at very least taken a year off acting, and from appearances seems to be enjoying being a veritable hermit. He has a very cute puppy and apparently moved (maybe summer/weekend house) to the south coast. He doesn’t have any acting work lined up afaik but he’s quite involved in mentoring younger actors and is a patron of a regional theatre. He could be auditioning – he was seen outside the National Theatre with what looked like a script – but with the massive bushy beard and general hobo look it’s unlikely he’s auditioning or meeting for movie roles.

        The South Sudan documentary was filmed a couple of years ago, I suppose it could still be in post-production. The release date was recently changed from late 2018 to unknown.

        Yes I know too much about Tom Hiddleston, sorry

    • Snazzy says:

      It really was :)

      • Rita says:

        No, there’s 1 more thing — I’m glad Tom has a more relaxing home and I hope Hard Boiled gets made with him in it. And Ragnorok was too “funny” and jumpy.

    • anony83 says:

      I think everyone at Marvel kind of agreed the second one was meh. Taika and Chris have both said in interviews that they only agreed to do Ragnarok if they really got to mix it up, which I think they did brilliantly.

    • tealily says:

      I just saw it this weekend, without having seen either of the other movies or most of the Marvel stuff generally, and I loved it. It was so weird and kooky. Super fun!

  2. TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

    The bar is low… but at least he’s meeting it? A lot of men, and hell a few women, aren’t even hitting basic human decency right now.

  3. smcollins says:

    I agree with Chris about the Thor movies, Dark World was pretty bad. Ragnarok is definitely the best one imo. And I have to admit that I loved him in Ghostbusters, he really held his own with those comedic goddesses. He might actually be my favorite Chris, it’s so hard to choose though.

    • Lightpurple says:

      His Kevin is the only reason to watch that Ghostbusters.

    • KB says:

      He is my favorite Chris, then Evans, then Pine and Pratt tied for meh. I liked Pratt when he was on Parks and Rec but soured on him when he started talking.

    • Veronica S. says:

      The problem with the second one is that it’s a Loki vehicle when really Thor SHOULD be the main focus because he’s the one who has actual character development going on. It’s also a lot darker than traditional Norse mythology felt – there’s an element of silliness to the Loki trickster in those stories that was lacking in the darker, more merciless portrayal of Tom Hiddleston. There are things I don’t like about Ragnarok, but it was definitely the one that seemed the most focused in terms of its characterization and intent.

  4. Ai says:

    Came to say that Thor #3 is the best

    • Naddie says:

      I came to agree, I just can’t switch or turn the t.v. off when it’s on. And he can do comedy amazingly.

  5. Kath says:

    He’s kind of a normal Australian dude who reminds me of my brothers. Hugh Jackman’s a bit like that too. We do have our fair share of arseholes like any country (e.g. Bernard Tomic or any footballer you care to mention), but they at least tend to get recognised as such.

    • Xi Tang says:

      I can’t believe someone’s mentioned Tomic on CB😫. He’s quit the arsehole but I like his tennis.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    I wish more directors would stop trying to just present him as an action hero and would cast him in more comedies because his timing is amazing. He was one of the most hilarious parts of Ghostbusters and Thor Ragnarok was a frigging comedic masterpiece.

    • jessamine says:

      Exactly this.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I was really surprised about Ragnarok. I didn’t see either of the first two but watch the third because the bf was watching, and it was really funny! I agree on his comedic timing, dude’s got the goods.

    • KB says:

      He is so funny

    • FF says:

      Got to agree he has a comedic talent. Comes out a lot in interviews.

      Looking forward to him and Tessa Thompson in the new MIB.

      And yeah, I’m sure Thor 2 has it’s merits but you can see how that was the point that necessitated the soft Thor reboot in Ragnarok, which was a critical improvement: just look at how well Thor meshed with the Guardians in Infinity War. (Tbh, I found 2 a hard slog, I wanted to like it but I couldn’t get through it in the end; don’t think it was anyone’s fault but it just wasn’t the best tone for the franchise.)

      • Dara says:

        After watching Wonder Woman, I really, really, really want to see what Patty Jenkins would have done with Dark World. She was hired as director but quickly exited after “creative differences” with Marvel. Alan Taylor was not quite the right replacement imo. Some of his choices were interesting, but there have been a lot of media stories saying the production had to do a lot of reshoots to find a better balance in tone.

  7. Rainbow says:

    Loved him in Infinity War especially that scene with Rocket where Thor’s grief was so obvious you could feel it through the screen.

    He’s a great comedy actor but he’s got the chops for drama as well. He’s handsome but he never gives off douchey, cocky vibes. He’s very boy-next-door, just laid-back and fun. He’s my fave Chris lol

  8. winosaurusrex says:

    In all fairness he’s right. The first Thor was far superior to the second Thor. However, Ragnarok blows them both out of the water . sorrynotsorry

  9. S says:

    This is an incredible swoon-worthy interview overall and I agree Hemsworth has great comic timing. Just watched the Infinity War gag reel a couple days ago and during a rainy shooting day they’re shooting Thor close-ups as part of a big battle scene when it’s interrupted by thunder, and he immediately yells out, ‘Sorry, that was me.’ Like, that’s really a genuinely very funny, layered joke,, and to come up with it in the moment? Pretty great.

    While I stan Chris Evans pretty hard, I also think he’s never gonna get another role where he’s half as good as Captain America. Chris Hemsworth? He’s gonna be fine.

    PS: Ragnorok is hands down the best Marvel movie and, I think, one of my favorite movies, period.

    • Lightpurple says:

      In the gag reel from Dark World, there’s a scene where the hammer breaks and he immediately, without hesitation, goes into a dance routine. His timing is brilliant.

  10. manda says:

    I’m the lone weirdo that actually loves the second, then the first, then the third. Possibly because I’ve only watched the third a few times. I love the second one! I like him and Jane Foster, which no one else likes either, and I liked all of Jane Foster’s people. I like their romance, and how it’s really super awkward and never really works, but that it’s obvious they care for each other so much. I probably also like it because it’s not totally loaded with Loki, who is my least favorite character (another unpopular opinion, I’m sure), who I usually can’t stand but was basically cool in that.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I actually like Dark World too, although Loki is what makes it for me. But I do like all their surrounding characters. I find Darcy annoying but she’s supposed to be annoying. I liked the intern and Stellan Skarsgard and Heimdahl and all the characters. The problem with Dark World was they didn’t give Chris Eggleston and Adewale anything to do as villains.

    • detta says:

      *Raises hands*
      Love the second one, too, and I never got the immense dislike for it. Is it the best Marvel, no, not by a long shot. But it sort of continued where the first one (and Avengers) left us and same as Lightpurple I like the characters. Then again, I did not like Ragnarok at all, most of its humour felt incredibly forced and childish to me (edit: co-sign Dara’s comment below) and it is pretty much towards the bottom of my Marvel list, and regarding the Thor movies it comes in third for me, too. So manda, you are not the only odd one out here!

      • manda says:

        Ok, yeah, I didn’t really like Ragnorak all that much either. Except when Bruce throws himself on the rainbow bridge to fight that dog and just lands with a thud, that was funny. And Cate Blanchett looked so fabulous. Oooh, and that Thor finally realized he had some real power.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Cate Blanchett is absolutely stunning and delightful in that films, and it drives me up a wall that she spends most of the film posing and getting to do little else.

    • Veronica S. says:

      There are parts of the second one that I like, but as I stated above, the problem is the story focus isn’t really on who it should be. I loved Jane and Darcy, though, and I was really salty about them getting kicked to the curb in Ragnarok. The relationship between Jane and Thor actually had a lot of potentially interesting avenues for character development given that he was giving up his crown for a woman who is mortal and he would most certainly outlive.

  11. Nene says:

    It was refreshing to see something different with Ragnarok but the toilet humour made it blah for me

    • Dara says:

      Yes, the ill-timed toilet humor. A lot of it was laugh out loud funny, but my main complaint with Ragnarok was that all the jokes seemed to come at the expense of what might have been a powerful dramatic moment. The director never let any of his characters (or the audience) emotionally process what the hell was going on. Every time something bad or sad happened, a half second later there was a slapstick joke and then everyone moved on to the next comedy skit.

    • diana says:

      Totally agree. I liked all 3 movies, even the dark world. Although it also was his worst performance. No wonder he thinks it’s “meh”…. Also could’ve have done with less jokes in Ragnarok.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I resented losing the female characters from the previous films, honestly, and I wasn’t thrilled about the way the new women were handled. And it was annoying to see the Warriors Three just completely dumped in a few seconds (and where was Sif??). I was glad to see a non-white woman in a primary role, but I disliked how her PTSD and subsequent alcoholism was played for jokes. She’s also more in the mode of female characters who are basically men with breasts than Jane or Darcy, who were most definitely feminine identities and representing careers you rarely see women portrayed in.

      • ichsi says:

        “She’s also more in the mode of female characters who are basically men with breasts than Jane or Darcy, who were most definitely feminine identities and representing careers you rarely see women portrayed in.”

        Uhhhh, what? Are you really pretending that the quirky, sexy, female scientist is a rare trope? Or that being a fighter with an alcohol problem makes you a man somehow?

  12. Marty says:

    This interview was one of his better ones, but his quotes about the paparazzi and his children…I mean I get it, but photos are not the only way to exploit children. And I just really don’t get celebrities who post pics of the their kids, but not they faces, then turn around and talk about super personal stories on talk shows.

    Also, feminist hero? Where???

  13. Case says:

    I really love all the Thor movies, actually. They’re my favorite Marvel films, which is…not a popular opinion, lol, but they suit my love of spacey, dramatic films. I’ve probably seen Thor 2 the most, actually, because it’s always on TV.

    Chris really, REALLY showed his chops in Infinity War, though. He was fantastic in that.

    • Lightpurple says:

      He was wonderful, especially since most of his most moving work involved talking to Sean Gunn in a motion capture suit pretending to be a raccoon. Although I think the hardest part may have been lying still without cracking up as Dave Bautista talked about pirate angel babies.

    • manda says:

      The Thor movies are my fave too. To paraphrase Andy Dick from his brief role in Old School, I love them for “all the flying and the magic.” I did not, however, really like Dr. Strange. He is kind of a jerk!

      • Veronica S. says:

        I couldn’t get into Dr. Strange, either. An arrogant, wealthy white man obtaining ~mysterious Asian powers~ to deal with his debilitating car accident (because apparently disability makes your medical degree useless??) is just so remarkably out of tune with where we are socially right now. Not to mention all the white washing.

      • Alice says:

        Strange is actually a great character. They were hampered, being the last developed film by Marvel under Perlmutter. I’m thrilled for the sequel since the creative team will get free reign, like everyone else has from GOTG2 forward.

        They cut bits of Strange’s past that were filmed which explains why he’s the way he is and why he’s so desperate to fix his hands. Also no explanation of his powers, which aren’t from any Earth race but essentially the comics’ version of aliens.

        The Ancient One—which is the only whitewashing in the film—was a disaster of Marvel’s making. They should have let the director cut or reform the character.

        However, the Doc’s pretty relevant to today socially. Entitled white man who learns not everything revolves around him and that you need to care about other people. Strange’s thing becomes self-sacrifice: he will always put everyone else before himself.

  14. Lynnie says:

    He looks sooooooo different without the beard

  15. Dara says:

    “But maybe he shouldn’t bad-mouth the movies that got him here?” Thank you!! Did anyone else notice that the only movies he complains about are the ones where he as an actor didn’t get good reviews? He is super-proud of Ragnarok and claims ownership of its success, but if people had not liked it I wonder if he would be more than willing to trash it too.

  16. Panthress says:

    I was not impressed with Thor Ragnarok. I got tired of the one note toilet bowl humour. In Ghostbusters and Vacation, Chris was boring and bland. 12 Strong was another wooden performance. Already, i have classified him as if I hear he is in a film, I will wait to watch it on cable. I waited with Thor Ragnarok to come to cable. And I was glad i did not waste my money to see it. Let us face it, Chris is a one franchise wonder. After the second Infinity War, his career is over.

  17. Em says:

    I don’t know about this interview, slightly whiney maybe? I’m not getting the best vibes about Chris from the interview, don’t know why though because I’m normally a big fan!

  18. SK says:

    I’m sad to say that Australia is also full of commitment-phobic douche-canoes. It’s like anywhere – there are some wonderful guys and there are some dicks.

  19. Lala11_7 says:

    I enjoyed the HECK out of the second Thor! You had a MAGNIFICENT bad guy…you got to see the beginning of Odin’s “Ain’t Ishness”…you got to see his Mama be a TOTAL BAD A–! You got to see the dynamic between he and Loki fleshed out more….You laughed, you cried…you tried to ignore Natalie Portman…Ion know what HE’S talking about!!!!

  20. Case says:

    I personally think he’s not a fan of Thor 2 because that was very much so the height of everyone loving Loki/Tom Hiddleston. Chris gave perfectly good performances, I thought, but Tom kinda stole the show anyway. Which is partially a credit to Tom’s acting chops, but it also just comes to the territory of featuring Loki alongside Thor — I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book at the moment and Loki is far and away the most fascinating, complex character.

    I get the sense that when Chris took more creative responsibility with the direction of Ragnarok, he was like, “This is going to be a Thor movie ABOUT THOR, okay?”

  21. pleaseicu says:

    Until IW, I didn’t think he had much in the way of dramatic acting chops though I always found him to have delightful comedic timing. Thor Ragnorak was funny and it was better than Thor 2 IMO. It had its flaws, mainly in that the script and director never allowed anyone to feel the emotion or devastation of their circumstances.

    I thought the Russo brothers/CH collaboration lead to Chris’ best performance to date. I came away thinking Thor had the richest arc and characterization out of everyone in Infinity War. I appreciated that the IW writers and Russo brothers fixed the biggest writing failure of Ragnorak. They didn’t rob Thor of the emotional weight of what he was experiencing (even as they kept in the comedic elements cultivated in Ragnorak) and they also allowed the weight of all of Thor’s experiences and losses across his 3 movies resonate and inform his decisions as well. It was well deserved characterization and Chris impressively ran with what they gave him.

  22. Meganbot2000 says:

    I don’t think it’s bashing to acknowledge that a widely panned movie wasn’t the greatest. Dark World has its enjoyable moments, but the script is incredibly weak and apparently it was a nightmare to film because they were re-writing and completely changing the script during filming, then did extensive reshoots to change it some more.

    A whole crucial plot got cut out. And aside from Loki’s ‘redemption arc with a twist’ (which is cool, and if anyone was going to pull off the Great Big Redemption Death without actually dying, it’s Loki) but the film had no idea what it was, structurally it was all over the place, and the whole “we need to kill all the elves because elves=bad” is disappointing after the first movie which is essentially about the dangers of judging all members of one race/species. Loki is basically a kid who’s been raised by white supremacists who discovers he’d adopted and is actually part black, and how he deals with the resultant self-loathing and identity crisis, and the movie can be viewed as a metaphor for racism and how racist beliefs are passed down.

    • Emma says:

      Yeah, the second one had complete production hell and changed significantly during production and post-production. The Dark Elves were originally going to have a proper backstory and story arc, Loki was originally going to die dead for real – all the fun Loki-Thor stuff was added in re-shoots, because test screenings revealed that no-one cared about Dark Elves and everyone wanted more Thor-Loki. It was also too dark and depressing and not funny enough originally.

      When you watch it you can see the tone veering wildly between scenes, where all the original bits and the re-shoots/re-writes were knitted together in the edit.

      Having said that, the final product was an entertaining trip and I still enjoy it. It’s just a shame they didn’t realise from the get-go that it was the family drama of the first Thor and Avengers that everyone was in to. And I do think Hemsworth is salty about the response to it basically being that the best bits were the 15 minutes or so when Loki is on screen – he and Taika have been pretty up-front about wanting Thor to be the best thing about Ragnorak.

  23. Bread and Circuses says:

    See, I thought the first one was merely okay (because it didn’t have the budget to be more; this is true of many superhero films, the studio is only testing the waters on the first movie), and the second one was a pretty great popcorn flick.

    The third one isn’t even in the same universe as the first two, of course; I found it a wee bit campy sometimes but it was still sooooooo good.

  24. Cindy says:

    It doesn’t sound like he’s badmouthing them, really. Actually I think he’sdoing the movies a favor by calling them “good” and “meh”, lol. The first one was meh, the second one was awful.

  25. Naddie says:

    I loved him recognizing the flop of his bad boy persona, lol.

  26. Kimberly says:

    The first 2 movies were MEH.
    The 3rd one was great.

    The only criticism I have about it is that last scene with Asgard. During that scene the comedic timing was off BIG TIME with that Hulk bit. It was too SOON.
    I mean Thor is witnessing his home being destroyed for goodness sake.
    Taika could have used that opportunity to show him grieving……..then later on add a few jokes to the mix.

  27. K says:

    Nah, he’s not bad mouthing anything. The second Thor wasn’t good. My husband and friends who love the Marvel movies, told me to skip that one for sure.

  28. lena says:

    ragnarok is my least favorite marvel film. He is only badmouthing tdw cause his acting was meh.

  29. Vox says:

    Australian men aren’t different, but our society is. The divorce rate is much lower and people don’t really believe in ‘starter marriages’ (I know that’s more of an upper class concept but you never hear anyone even joking about it here).