Thor Star Chris Hemsworth Announces He’s Taking Time off from Movies

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Chris Hemsworth, Thor, Extraction

Thor actor Chris Hemsworth revealed he will be taking a break from acting as his predisposition to a certain disease leaves him wanting to focus on family.

The Australian star of MCU fame has had a thriving career since Avengers: Endgame as his Asgardian performance earned him starring roles in a variety of franchises and genres. Some of his biggest since then have included Extraction, Spiderhead, Men in Black: International, and Thor: Love and Thunder.

Following his controversial fourth solo outing as the MCU's God of Thunder, next up will be the villainous Dr. Dementus opposite Anya Taylor-Joy in Furiosa - who was recently showcased in new set photos. Following that, he will soon be back on Netflix for Extraction 2 which will see his return as mercenary Tyler Rake.

But once all is said and done with those projects, both of which have already entered post-production, Hemsworth appears to be lining up a break from acting.

Chris Hemsworth Plans for Acting Break After Thor 4

Thor, Chris Hemsworth, daughter

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth revealed he will be taking a break to focus on family after a recent medical discovery.

When asked how his Disney+ series Limitless helped influence his decision, Hemsworth noted that as he keeps "slapping another movie on top of another movie," he feels he is missing time with family:

"Doing an episode on death and facing your own mortality made me go, 'Oh God, I’m not ready to go yet.' I want to sit and be in this space with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude. And then you start talking about kids and family and going, 'Oh my God, they’re getting older, they’re growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie.' Before you know it, they’re 18 and they’ve moved out of the house, and I missed the window."

That realization forced the Australian actor to realize he wants "to take some time off," especially as he completes projects now he was "already contract to do:"

"It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do. Now when I finish this tour this week, I’m going home and I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife."

Among the actor's genetic makeup is two copies of the APOE4 gene - one from his mother and another from his father - that studies indicate leads to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. While one in four carries one copy of the gene, only 2-3% carry two - based on a 2021 study by the National Institute of Health, as shared by Vanity Fair.

The actor commented on this in Limitless Episode 5, noting that while this does not diagnose him with Alzheimer's, it is cause for concern as the gene places him at extremely high risk of developing the disease. Nonetheless, the actor didn't want to "overdramatize it" in the public eye:

“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatize it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy, or whatever, for entertainment. It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.”

The actor added that he has "for sure" been more selective in the roles he has been taking:

"For sure. I felt like I’d been in a sprint for 10 years, and all these moments that were dream scenarios would fly by. Moments that I should have been stepping back and going, 'Wow, this is incredible,' I was inundated with other kinds of requests and asks and being pulled in different directions. [I was] not really kind of enjoying what was right in front of me."

Clarifying that the test was not a surprise as his grandfather, who is still living has Alzheimer's, he went on to speak of his struggles with the disease:

"I haven’t seen him in a few years, but my other family members have and there are some days when he’s quite joyful and gives you a big hug. But my mum was saying he’s just a really friendly guy. I’m not sure he actually remembers much anymore and he slips in and out of Dutch, which is his original language, so he’ll be talking Dutch and English and then a mash-up and then maybe some other new words as well."

Hemsworth added there was "an intensity to navigating" the revelation as, just like everyone must, the actor has to accept his "own mortality" and the route toward death:

"Yeah, there was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out. Then all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, and the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality."

When asked if, by being public with his genetic condition, he is trying to tell others to consider getting tested, the actor noted how he wanted to encourage people to "take better care of themselves:"

"I was offered a version of the episode where we didn’t talk about it, and for the exact reason you are mentioning now, I thought, 'No, look if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take—then fantastic.' My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatize it and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment."

How Chris Hemsworth's Acting Break Will Affect His MCU Future

Now that Chris Hemsworth revealed his plans to take a break from acting, one can only wonder what that means for the future, particularly when it comes to Thor. After all, the God of Thunder still appears to be active in the MCU after Love and Thunder, so he ought to be back in the not-too-distant future.

Of course, Hemsworth remained vague on his break plans with regard to how long that will last, although the actor doesn't appear to have any roles lined up, at least publically, at this time. Perhaps the next time the Australian star takes to screens will be for his big MCU comeback, assuming his story isn't already over.

The actor recently stated that if he were to return as Thor, then Marvel would "probably have to close the book" on his tale as he questioned if he may be nearing the time of his MCU death. That may end up meaning his ultimate sacrifice in the fight against Kang in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars

But as The Kang Dynasty won't hit theaters until 2025, Hemsworth will have plenty of time to dedicate to his family first, aside from the odd press tour for his upcoming releases. Based on how Infinity War started production in January 2017 in time for a May 2018 release, an early 2024 beginning of filming is likely.

Thor: Love and Thunder is streaming now on Disney+.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.