Chris Hemsworth Almost Didn’t Get The Role Of ‘Thor’

Chris Hemsworth might be known to most people as Thor, but he has been broadening his acting horizons, most recently in his new movie In the Heart of the Sea, in which he plays first mate on a ship that is left stranded at sea by a gigantic whale. See the trailer here.

The Wrap reports that director Ron Howard sings high praises for Hemsworth, telling why he enjoys working with him and comparing him to Tom Hanks.

“I loved working with him on Rush. I felt like as an actor, as an artist, this was another good step for him, a good showcase, in a way, for the kind of range that he can offer. Plus, he has a kind of work ethic and attitude, not unlike my buddy Tom Hanks, for example, that makes him the right sort of person to go to sea with, to get into an adventure like this.”

While In the Heart of the Sea is his most recent film, Chris Hemsworth began as an Australian soap opera actor, known for his role as Kim Hyde in Home and Away. From there he decided to take on Hollywood as a relatively unknown actor. He was first cast in the small role of George Kirk, but the role was in a big movie – Star Trek. He then went on to appear in Cabin in the Woods and Thor.

In his Vanity Fair interview, Chris Hemsworth revealed that he almost didn’t get the part of Thor.

“I had an audition with Ken [Branagh, for Thor] that didn’t go very well. I remember walking out thinking, Oh well, there goes that opportunity. Then one day Joss and Drew were reading the trades, and on the front was the final four for Thor. And they pointed to Liam and said, ‘Hey, is that your brother?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said, ‘Why the hell aren’t you in the mix?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t get a callback.’ And they were like, ‘This is crazy.’ And I was like, ‘If one of us gets it, that’s cool.’ And they were like, ‘No way. That should be you.’ And when casting opened back up, Joss called Ken and said, ‘Give Chris another shot.'”

Branagh took Whedon’s advice and fans everywhere are glad he did because no one else could have done Thor the way Chris Hemsworth did, not even little brother Liam. But Hemsworth was concerned Thor wouldn’t make it and when that happens, it’s the actor playing the role that takes the fall.

“When something costs $150 million and it doesn’t work, it’s your face, it’s your fault. And the character has fans. Are they still a fan or did you just make them never want to read the comic again?”

Vanity Fair talks about the type of actor Chris Hemsworth is, all Cary Grant or Gary Cooper, and how his versatility as an actor goes beyond his acting style and includes his physical size. Ron Howard spoke about Hemsworth’s audition tape for the movie Rush, which was Howard’s first experience working with Hemsworth.

“He’d made it himself in his hotel room when he was shooting one of the Avengers movies. He was huge. There’s no way he could even fit in the car [the part was real-life racecar driver James Hunt]. But at the end, in his Aussie voice, he said, ‘And don’t worry. I’ll be whatever size Hunt needs to be.’ At that moment, I knew we had our guy.”

But Chris Hemsworth also has a funny side, one he was all too pleased to share with the world when he recently hosted Saturday Night Live. Check out his SNL monologue.

Out of this world, Chris Hemsworth!

[Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]