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Endgame directors reveal how Hemsworth reacted to fat Thor

Contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

Thor's new look in Avengers: Endgame has been a hot topic amongst Marvel fans since the moment the film dropped in theaters. People have been bickering back and forth over whether the god of thunder gaining a noticeable amount of weight, letting his hair grow long and his beard get scraggly, and settling into a routine of beer, chips, and video games was a cheap attempt at laughs or an accurate depiction of the effects trauma and grief can have on a person. Amongst all this chatter, one person who has remained pretty quiet about "fat Thor" in Avengers: Endgame is Thor actor Chris Hemsworth himself. 

Thanks to Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, we know how Hemsworth reacted to the news that his hammer-swinging hero character would sport a different physique in the film. 

Speaking in a recent interview with Sirius XM (via Express UK), the Russos shared that Hemsworth was totally on board for chubby Thor and was ready to take the character in a new direction. 

"Hemsworth is up for anything. He likes to take risks," said Joe Russo. 

Anthony Russo chimed in from there, explaining that he and Joe gave Hemsworth a call to discuss where Thor's personal journey would go in Avengers: Endgame and how his character arc would wrap up. The initial conversation took place quite a while before Endgame and its predecessor Avengers: Infinity War, which were shot back-to-back, began filming — meaning the Russos and Hemsworth knew well in advance what Thor would look, feel, and act like in the epic ensemble movie. 

"Before the script was ready, when we called him to pitch the character arc, he was either still finishing or had just finished Ragnarok," Anthony Russo shared. "But he was so energized by the work he had done with Taika [Waititi] in that movie in terms of coming up with a comedic and irreverent Thor."

Joe Russo added, "And we were like, 'Wait until you hear what we've got for you.'"

Hemsworth couldn't open up much about what happened with Thor in Avengers: Endgame or offer explicit details about the hero's transformation until the movie premiered in theaters in late April, but he did offer a tiny tease to USA Today ahead of the pic's debut. The Aussie actor told the outlet that he and the Russos had multiple, in-depth talks regarding Thor's change from the god of thunder with lightning coursing through his veins to a self-conscious guy that his fellow Avengers tease has Cheez Whiz flowing through his blood. Of course, Hemsworth had to keep mum about the specifics at that time, though he did explain that he "wanted to do something different" and push Thor to his limits in Avengers: Endgame

"I wanted to do something different this time. Each film I've wanted to, in particular the last couple, and [the Russos] were on board," Hemsworth said, referring to how Thor changed from the sort-of-bratty son of Odin in the early Thor films directed by Kenneth Branagh to a witty and kind-hearted hero in director Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. "They were on board and we sat for many hours and days and discussed kind of how far we could push it and what we could do different."

"Fat Thor" certainly is different to any other iteration of the hero fans have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. It was a bold move on the Russo brothers and Hemsworth's part, and definitely caused a rift in the Marvel fandom, but it's evident that there was no ill intent behind the decision. Rather, it sounds like the Avengers: Endgame team wanted to depict Thor in a brand-new light while making a point about how everyone handles feelings of grief and guilt in their own ways and how there isn't just one right way to be a hero. 

One of the most prominent takeaways from "fat Thor" in the film is that he never underwent a fat-to-fit transformation in order to boost his confidence or prove to himself and others that he is worthy of being a superhero. Instead, Thor was able to summon his hammer Mjolnir and fight the brutal battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin) at the end of Endgame — while keeping on the extra pounds he gained over the five years post-Snap. He may not look the way he used to, but he's just as powerful, and that's an important message to send to audiences. 

Like Avengers: Endgame screenwriter Christopher Markus once explained, "We leave him in that state at the end of the movie. Even though he's emotionally resolved. We fix his problem, and it's not his weight … And I think he is the ideal Thor at the end of the movie, and he's carrying some weight." And as Anthony Russo stated in this recent interview, "We find 'fat Thor' as inspiring as any version of Thor because he's so relatable. It's a very human version of the character."

Thor appears positioned to make a return in the MCU with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, given where he wound up at the end of Avengers: Endgame. The Russos did note in their Sirius XM interview that it's ultimately up to director James Gunn whether Thor plays a part in the upcoming film, but if he does, it seems his big belly and bushy beard might be coming back, too.