While Marvel's Phase 4 has a number of intriguing projects coming down the pipeline, one of the most interesting has to be Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to release on May 6, 2022.
The fourth Thor film looks to reunite Thor star Chris Hemsworth with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, along with Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie and members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. But perhaps most surprisingly, the 2022 film marks the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster.
Perhaps no MCU character to date has evolved as much as Chris Hemsworth's Thor, but the actor is still learning how to best prepare for his character's expanding library of films while refusing to view the required training as superficial.
HEMSWORTH PUTS HIS HAMMER DOWN
In an interview with The Telegraph, Chris Hemsworth shared how quarantine is a big reason why he's the "fittest and strongest" he's been for a Marvel movie. Hemsworth stated that "time at home meant I explored different methods" of exercising while preparing his body for Thor: Love and Thunder:
"This is probably the fittest and strongest I've been before all the Thors. Having this time at home meant I explored different methods, to see how I can manipulate my body with just the right amount of powerlifting and bodybuilding workouts."
Hemsworth has been training for the role since Marvel's first Thor film in 2011. But in retrospect, the actor believes that he "probably overtrained" for those earlier roles.
"For years I probably over trained. People who do muscle-building often don't realize it's a sport that shouldn't be seven days a week, two hours a day. I was doing that in the previous Thors, and was coming up sorer, with less energy."
In regard to Hemsworth's workout schedule and routine, the actor was asked in the interview if it's really all about the God of Thunder's arms.
This, of course, Hemsworth denied explaining that "you don't want to look like Popeye."
"That's what you see the most. Working with my trainer, we consider the costume and if it shows a lot of shoulder, or are we gonna see the bicep or the traps. But you want it to be balanced, because there's probably a shirt-off scene somewhere. You don't want to look like Popeye with one section of the body blown up."
Now the Guardians of the Galaxy didn't call Thor a Pirate Angel for nothing in Avengers: Infinity War.
Of all the Avengers, Thor's appearance is tied more to his character than the others which is why his Big Lebowski look in Avengers: Endgame was such a shock to audiences.
But when asked about the focus on his character's image, Hemsworth changed course saying that if he "got unhealthily skinny for a role, I'd probably be called a serious actor:"
"There's an aesthetic that the role requires. Bodybuilding is seen as vanity, whereas if I put on a bunch of unhealthy weight, or got unhealthily skinny for a role, I'd probably be called a serious actor. The training across 10 years of doing it is a full-time job. That and then a 12-hour shooting day - it's real grind. It's incredibly rewarding, too - you have to look at it like a professional athlete."
PUMPING IRON AND LIFTING MJOLNIR
Much like his Marvel character, Chris Hemsworth offers surprising depth when you least expect it.
Even though he was asked about bodybuilding, muscles, and image, the actor turned the tables sharing how he's learned to train better and healthier while offering a different perspective on how actors preparing for their bodies for roles. As he said, actors who drop weight or gain weight for a role are often rewarded for their commitment to their craft.
But even though he's just as committed and disciplined in adapting his body, his efforts are viewed from a solely superficial standpoint.
Overall, it's great to hear that the seasoned actor is continuously learning how to better prepare for his future MCU roles while also posing real questions about public perception.