Amid 'Gladiator' Sequel Talk, Chris Hemsworth Says Bodybuilding Keeps Him from Being Taken Seriously as an Actor

Saturday April 10, 2021
Originally published on April 6, 2021

Chris Hemsworth complained that his physical bulk is keeps him from being taken seriously as an actor, in an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph (link behind firewall) as reported by the Daily Mail. "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."

He continued: "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."

His comments about being the "fittest" and "strongest" he's ever been come amid a report that claims he's set to star in a sequel to "Gladiator," the Russell Crowe-helmed Best Picture released 21 years ago. The Australian website New Idea reported that Hemsworth "is currently trying to convince the actor-turned-rugby figure to co-produce a sequel to Russ' Oscar-winning film, 'Gladiator.'"

The two have become friends since Crowe signed on for a featured role in the new "Thor" film, which began shooting in Australia in January. "Since Russell joined 'Thor: Love and Thunder,' which is currently filming in Sydney, the two are said to have spent hours talking, and are even sharing script ideas," wrote New Idea.

"Russell thinks he could be the only man to credibly play his son in a Gladiator sequel," explains the source," reported reported Movie Web. "The same insider claims that both Crowe and Hemsworth are "carefully considering the concept" for the long-awaited Gladiator sequel and have 'spent hours musing over script ideas.'"

The idea for the sequel came from Hemsworth wife Elsa Pataky. "She's often joked they could easily pass off as father and son — and Russell thinks he could be the only man to credibly play his son in a Gladiator sequel," explains a source.

Pataky and Hemsworth made the decision to move to Australia from Los Angeles six years ago. It was a daring move for the rising star then, but, as a profile of the actor in Australian Men's Health last month pointed out, one that had the studios coming to him. "When I first decided to move back here, it was, 'Well, how are you going to make it work with all the travel and so on?' And I guess my gut told me it was going to work out fine and so I stuck to my guns on that. And just as I sort of laid out my dream scenario, I thought, 'Why wouldn't anyone else want to be here?' We've got such diversity in our landscape to double for just about anywhere in the world and then there's the amount of talent that's here."

And while he is in peak physical condition, he admits to a certain weariness. "My body shuts down when I stop working out," he says. "I just don't feel good. I like it for a couple of days, then everything just starts to hurt. I get achy and there's inflammation, my back's stiff. I'm just well aware that in order for me to live healthier and happier, I've got to keep moving."

To that end, he said that it is important to shake things up with his workout regimen. "You've got to be an explorer in the world of fitness and exercise and constantly be on the lookout for something fresh."

It is a sentiment that he applied to his career as well. He told the Telegraph that "after playing Thor for ten years, he wants to try new projects that 'don't feel familiar'." He was recently seen bulking up to play WWE icon Hulk Hogan in a highly-anticipated biopic.