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Robert Downey Jr. Speaks Out About Fat Thor

Everyone has had something to say about fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame, and Robert Downey Jr. just added his two cents to the pot. 

Chatting with Variety as part of the outlet's cover story all about Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, Downey Jr. spoke out about the God of Thunder's striking new physique. 

After the heroes who survived Thanos' (Josh Brolin) Decimation at the end of Avengers: Infinity War confronted the purple-faced despot to take back the Infinity Stones (to no avail), Thor sank into a pit of grief — isolating himself to a small shack in New Asgard and spending his days eating, drinking, and yelling at kids while playing Fortnite. The five years after the Avengers' post-Infinity War face-off with Thanos, which ended with Thor decapitating the tyrant, weren't kind to Thor, and he emerged after the time jump sporting a shaggy beard, unkempt hair that grew to his shoulders, and a protruding belly courtesy of barrels of beer and newfound love for Cheez Whiz

Most fans either loved chubby Thor or hated that he seemed to be the butt of every joke in Endgame, but where does the Iron Man actor sit on the spectrum? Downey Jr. revealed to Variety that he adores what Hemsworth did with the character, and praised his all-or-nothing performance. 

"Boy, did he go bonkers. He went out to the bleeding edge," Downey Jr. said of Hemsworth's approach to the incredibly different, ultimately divisive version of Thor in Avengers: Endgame. "I have a rule, which is if you think you're at 70 percent, then start pulling back, because it's probably at 105 [percent]. He went out into some pretty risky atmosphere of nuttiness."

Hemsworth relished the experience of pushing himself to his limits and continuing to take risks with Thor, bringing him into territory he'd never been before. This has become a trend for the Aussie actor – experimenting with Thor and seeing how the hammer-wielding hero can change from Marvel movie to Marvel movie. Remember the difference between the Thor from his first two solo movies and the God of Thunder seen in Thor: Ragnarok? Recall the changes he exhibited in Avengers: Infinity War after Ragnarok? That all helped lay the foundation for fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame — an undertaking Hemsworth wasn't the least bit scared of. In fact, Hemsworth was so excited about being able to play Thor in a different way and enjoyed chubbier Thor so much that he pushed to keep the hero's plumper shape throughout the entirety of Endgame, lobbying to not have Thor undergo the planned mid-movie transformation where he gets fit again. 

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

Hemsworth even found some joy in the not-so-fun parts of portraying fat Thor, namely the heavy silicone prosthetics and extra weights he had to wear. 

"Physically, it was a good three hours in hair and makeup. 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," he shared. "People just kept coming up and cuddling me like a big bear or rubbing my belly like I was pregnant. Or trying to sit on my lap like I was Santa Claus. You get a lot of affection. I felt like an old man, an old grandpa, with a bunch of kids around."

Downey Jr. wasn't the only Endgame guy who had kind words to say about chubby Thor. The film's co-director, Anthony Russo, shared with Variety that Thor's arc in Endgame was among his favorite narratives in the entire film. Like Downey Jr., Russo also applauded Hemsworth's commitment to his character. 

"Part of Chris' magic as a comedic actor is his dedication to the depth of the character on a very earnest level," the filmmaker 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."

While those over in the Marvel camp clearly couldn't get enough of fat Thor, others were less keen on the character's new look. His transformation from fit to fat, largely due to the trauma of the Decimation and the subsequent grief Thor struggled to work through, didn't sit well with some viewers — many of whom felt that Avengers: Endgame was slapping Thor in the face and poking fun at his troubles rather than celebrating him in the way they felt the film was doing with other heroes. At the end of the day, though, it looks like fat Thor is here to stay, as Hemsworth has no desire to exit the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon. 

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