Big contrast between the two physiques of Chris Hemsworth right? On the left is Chris as portrayed in “In The Heart of the Sea” which tells the story of a group of men’s harrowing experience being shipwrecked at sea for months. This would ultimately serve as the basis for Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby Dick”. On the right is the kind of condition Chris gets in to play “Thor” (of Asgard) the mighty God of Thunder himself!
Now that “Captain America: Civil War” is already in theaters across most of the world Marvel fans will quickly notice that Thor is absent from this particular adventure. He will be seen again though in next year’s “Thor: Ragnorak” (which will include an appearance from Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, the only other Avenger to be sitting “Civil War” out), his absence from the film doesn’t mean that Chris Hemsworth himself isn’t keeping busy, and in a way that will make many martial artists gasp in awe!
In order to do the God of Thunder justice, Mr. Hemsworth had to massively beef up, which is typical for superhero and action-oriented roles. However it was truly a new experience for him, with Hemsworth himself saying he’d never even started lifting weights before taking on the role. Over six months, Hemsworth added twenty pounds of muscle to his frame with constant trips to the gym and a diet that consisted of eggs, chicken sandwiches, vegetables, brown rice, steak and protein drinks, which he continued for his subsequent portrayals of the character in “The Avengers” and other Marvel films. Hemsworth even joked that playing the God of Thunder required him to essentially eat, “My body weight in protein pretty much!”.
This kind of discipline and commitment is something martial artists and bodybuilders can certainly relate to, but his role of Owen Chase in Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” would carry him to the opposite end of that physical spectrum – portraying a real survivor of the wreck of the Essex in 1820 who spent months shipwrecked at sea. Hemsworth and the rest of the cast (including Tom Holland, who takes on the role of Spider-Man in “Civil War”) had to decrease their food intake to as low as a meagre 500 calories per day, which ultimately dropped Hemsworth from a weight of 215 lbs to 175 lbs (95.5kg to 79.4kg). No wonder he would come away from the film commenting that it was, “physically and emotionally the hardest movie that I’ve been a part of.”
Meantime, though Thor may be AWOL from “Civil War”, Mr. Hemsworth is hardly steering away from less than physically demanding roles. Of course, with “Thor: Ragnorak” arriving next year, he’s got his work cut out for him getting back into the shape of an Avenger – if anyone can pull it off, it’s the God of Thunder!