The Downside of the Superhero Movie Franchise: Chris Hemsworth’s Yo-Yo Physique

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki had the eyes, but Chris Hemsworth’s Thor most definitely had the body in the far superior prequel to “The Avengers.” Any guy watching “Thor” who doesn’t admit to wishing he had a body like Hemsworth is either lying or in better shape already.  

The tough thing about becoming the centerpiece of a franchise movie series like “Thor” is that you can expect to be drafted into the army of actors who reinvent their bodies. Taking on a role like a Norse god is going to call for a serious commitment to getting into shape even if you were already just the second coming of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately for us all, Hemsworth is an actor first and a Norse god second.  

The tough thing for Hemsworth as long as he must be called upon to save the realms from his pranker of an adopted brother and various other Marvelettes is that he will be forced into a yo-yo lifestyle in which he may want to take on roles not quite so needful of the whole big muscular thing in between return trips to Asgard.  

Such is the case with Hemsworth’s next big screen appearance in “Rush.” Ron Howard returns to the world of drama based on real life that has served him so well come Oscar time in this dramatization of the rivalry between race drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. When it comes to physique, those little guys who climb atop thoroughbred racehorses tend to sport a musculature more akin to Norse gods than those racers who climb into vehicles sporting hundreds of horsepower. In other words: Thor would not make for a very efficient racecar driver. As a result, on this break from saving the universe and dealing with Loki, Chris Hemsworth has had to reinvent his body into the tight, taut and lithe sort that is much better suited to fitting inside the cramped environs of a Formula 1 car.  

Hemsworth already had to slim down from this Thor body to play that Huntsman doing his best to save Snow White from the sinister hands of the dastardly queen. It may seem odd that a guy out in the woods waving an axe around would require a more impressive physique than a guy trying to control a thousand pound car going so fast that spectators may miss the action in front of then entirely if they happen to blink. But there you go. The wacky world of actors and their dieting and gym work means that Chris Hemsworth has to be bulkier when he’s swinging around prop hammers than when he’s behind the wheel of a ferocious race car.