Chris Hemsworth has credited Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi with revitalising his Avengers character ahead of Avengers: Endgame, admitting that he’d fallen out of love with the part before his third solo movie.
Talking to Yahoo Movies UK about the contrast between 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, the 35-year-old Aussie says he felt they never really nailed who is character was before Waititi gave him the freedom to explore the possibilities of the God of Thunder.
“When we came into Ragnarok, I was sort of exhausted of what I’d been doing and a little sort of underwhelmed by what I was putting out there, you know?” Hemsworth says.
Read more: Hemsworth on Captain Marvel
Ragnarok was the actor’s fifth outing as Thor, having played the role in two solo films, and two Avengers films, but he says his ambivalence to the role was not down to any of the filmmakers he’d worked with up that point.
“That was no fault of any director or writer, that was me personally. It felt like I’d put myself in a box with what the character could do. So on Ragnarok, it was about breaking all the rules, and kinda going ‘as soon as it feels familiar, do something different’, and Taika [Waititi] – the director – had the same vision, and the same, I guess, guts to just roll the dice and [do the] ‘anything goes’ kind of thing.
“That was so liberating and freeing, you know, to sort of break away who the character was prior.”
The gamble paid off for Marvel Studios. The third Thor film is the highest-grossing of Hemsworth’s solo movies taking $854 million (£656 million) at the global box office. It’s also regularly named as one of the best instalments in the 21-film Marvel Cinematic Universe (it’s top 3 for us) thanks to its riotous, offbeat script, unexpected twists, and dazzling visuals.
It also superbly set the tone for Thor’s involvement in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. It’s hard to picture the sombre, Shakespearian Thor of the Kenneth Branagh-directed debut feature trading quips with the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard the Benatar, like he did in the third Avengers movie.
In contrast, the Alan Taylor-directed Thor: The Dark World is probably one of the least-liked Marvel Studios films to date, bar 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Talking about his first two solo films in 2018, Hemsworth said “the first one is good, the second one is meh”.
Rumoured to have been beset with behind-the-scenes problems (Natalie Portman quit the franchise after the second film), the actor said there was uncertainty around The Dark World which likely impacted on its quality.
“I think, tonally, we never quite landed on what that [film] should have been. I think it became a little too… I don’t want to say serious… but, as I was shooting it I desperately wanted to do something more fun with the character, and unexpected.”
Read more: How Thor became the MCU’s MVP
With the actor’s contract with Marvel Studios rumoured to finish with his final performance in Endgame – in cinemas 25 April – Hemsworth recently admitted the film will bring closure to Thor’s story in a way.
“I’d play this character for as long as anyone would let me,” he said on This Morning. “I’ve loved it so much. But the combination of this many characters in this Phase Three, as Marvel calls it, you’ll never have this interaction with this many people again. Who knows what the future holds and whether they do prequels and sequels or whatever, I’d be open to anything. But right now, this is where we finish up.”
Avengers: Endgame lands in cinemas on 25 April. Watch a new IMAX featurette for the film below.