In late 2018, on a hill high above Byron Bay, a barefooted and sweaty Chris Hemsworth sat down to a plate of chicken with the Men’s Health crew. We’d just wrapped our March cover shoot, but Hemsworth was not done, joking around with the team and personally thanking everyone involved, agreeing to every selfie request without a hint of hesitation. “What’s he like in real life?” It’s a question I’ve been asked more often than, “How are you?”
“As nice as you imagine, times 10,” is my response.
Fast-forward to the present day and I find myself lunching with Hemsworth again. He’s as amicable as ever, although his world has undeniably changed. This time around we’re joined by 40 journalists from around the world as we celebrate the launch of the TAG Heuer Autavia watch range in a waterfront Sydney restaurant. There are no bare feet and it’s a world away from the calm of our Byron Bay photoshoot. Luckily, I’m able to peel away with Australia’s favourite export for a brief 10-minute check-in – a rather tight timeframe given how much Hemsworth has achieved in the six months since we last met.
In the days immediately following the release of his Men’s Health cover back in March, (a cover that was picked up around the world), Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky changed the digital health and wellness landscape with the release of their holistic lifestyle app Centr. Drawing on the expertise of Hemsworth’s crack team of health and wellness experts, the app alone would represent a banner year for most ordinary men. But Chris Hemsworth, as we’ve long known, is no ordinary man.
Enter Avengers: Endgame, a movie that looks set to define a generation and has recently surpassed Avatar as the biggest of all time. Reprising his signature role of Thor, this time around the God of Thunder’s storyline carries a little more ‘weight’ than previous outings [honestly, if you’ve avoided spoilers up to this point, you are the true hero].
With highly anticipated Netflix movie Dhaka, lucrative corporate partnerships with TAG and Hugo Boss and a comedy pairing with Tiffany Haddish all still to come in 2019, it’s perhaps no wonder the actor has decided to take a well-earned break from Hollywood. Because, as Hemsworth explains, taking a step back is often the most important one in moving forward.
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