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Chris Hemsworth Talks About Playing Fat Thor In Avengers: Endgame

It's not easy being an overweight God of Thunder.

In a recent sitdown with Variety, Chris Hemsworth offered some interesting insights into playing a heftier version of Thor in Avengers: Endgame, and he also happened to drop some hints as to whether we've seen the last of the mighty Odinson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In case you're one one of the three or four fans who hasn't gotten a chance to catch it yet, be advised that spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

As you probably remember, Thor's transformation after failing to stop Thanos from decimating half of all life in the universe — and subsequently beheading the defenseless Mad Titan in a fit of rage — was a dramatic one. Tracked down after the film's five-year time jump by Bruce Banner and Rocket, who were intent on recruiting Odinson for the Avengers' time heist, Thor had spent those years swilling beer, playing Fortnite with Korg, and... shall we say, packing on a few extra pounds.

Marvel fans' reception to Fat Thor has been divisive to say the least, although a strong argument can be made — a few tasteless jokes notwithstanding — that the character was treated with sympathy, allowing moviegoers who may have had a familiarity with the workings of depression to identify with a near-immortal god who chose the exact wrong moment to fail. Interestingly, Hemsworth revealed that midway through Endgame, Thor was supposed to have reverted to his previous, ultra-ripped physique (which, honestly, wouldn't have made a lot of narrative sense), but that he fought to keep the character portly throughout the entire movie.

"I like that anything goes. You're not locked into expectations," the actor said. "I enjoyed that version of Thor. It was so different than any other way I played the character. And then it took on a life of its own." 

Of course, in order to take on a life of its own, the extra-large version of the Thunder God required a much greater commitment to the makeup chair than previous iterations. "Physically, it was a good three hours in hair and makeup," Hemsworth explained. "Then the prosthetic suit, particularly for the shirt-off scene, that was a big silicone that weighed about 90 pounds. It was certainly exhausting. I had weights on my hands and ankles just to have my arms and legs swing differently when I shuffled along through the set."

For his part, co-director Anthony Russo appreciated that Hemsworth was willing to go the extra mile, and also the way in which he was able to explore new facets of his character — an exploration that was made possible by director Taika Waititi's comic take on Odinson in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. "Part of Chris' magic as a comedic actor is his dedication to the depth of the character on a very earnest level," Russo said. "We love those kinds of performers. It's so devious and subversive when comedy is coming from a place of complete commitment and emotional complexity."

Co-star Robert Downey Jr., who knows a thing or two about complete commitment to his role, couldn't have agreed more. "He went out to the bleeding edge," an admiring Downey said of Hemsworth's Endgame performance. "I have a rule, which is if you think you're at 70%, then start pulling back, because it's probably at 105%. He went out into [a] pretty risky atmosphere of nuttiness."

Hemsworth related that he appreciated the opportunity to get nutty with Thor after feeling that he'd essentially hit a dead end with the character after completing Thor: The Dark World. "After I'd done Avengers and Thor 2, I did feel a bit trapped," he said. "I felt like I was typecast by whoever was writing those scripts. I feel like the creators were stuck on where they could take the character, and was this all he had to offer? I felt there was so much more we could do."

As it turned out, he was right — and while nothing is set in stone at the moment, the conclusion of Endgame left the door open for future appearances, as the Thunder God left New Asgard in the capable hands of Valkyrie to go off on intergalactic adventures with his favorite sweet rabbit and the rest of the revived Guardians of the Galaxy. Far from feeling trapped at this point, Hemsworth tantalizingly revealed that if Marvel's powers-that-be want him back, he's more than ready to oblige.

"I'd still love to do more, to be honest," he said. "And I don't know what the plan is. I feel like we've opened up such a different character. I feel more energized for the possibility of where it could go."

Millions of Marvel fanatics agree with you wholeheartedly, Chris. Of course, the actor may know a bit more than he's letting on; Ragnarok and Endgame co-star Tessa Thompson let slip that Marvel Studios may very well be kicking around the possibility of Thor 4, and that Waititi is being eyed to return to the director's chair if it happens. Also, although the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has long been completed, it's not outside the realm of possibility that writer/director James Gunn may be willing to set aside a bit of time for a minor rewrite if it means he'll get the chance to include the beloved Avenger in the Guardians' final installment.

However it plays out, we get the distinct feeling that Thor — to use Marvel's trademark parlance — will return. You can bet that the moment there's an official announcement, we'll be here to report on it faster than you can say "Excelsior!"