When we were on the set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" last summer, we watched Chris Hemsworth shoot a scene set in Avengers Tower, where he has a chat with The Vision, the new, purplish robo-god introduced in the third act of the highly anticipated sequel. The Vision (played by Paul Bettany) looked cool and imposing, every square inch of his skin covered in prosthetics, but Hemsworth? Well, Hemsworth wasThor. In between takes he chatted with his stunt double, a burly man who throws the hammer when the megawatt star is unable, and it became clear, after a few minutes, that Hemsworth was bigger than his stunt double. Truly, he is an Asgardian king.
And in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," you get to remember why you liked Thor so much in the first place, after the dreary sequel "Thor: The Dark World." Thor is funny again, with Hemsworth's comic timing once again calibrated to perfection, and he also has his own mysterious mini-arc, brought about by the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) showing him a potential vision of the future. It's all great stuff for Hemsworth to play with. Now if only he could fit through human-sized doorways.
We got to chat with the Avenger about what it was like being funny again, why Loki wasn't in this movie, what went wrong on "Blackhat" and what he thought of his particular Doritos flavor.
Moviefone: In this movie, Thor gets to be funny again! Was that something you were excited about returning to?
Chris Hemsworth: Yes, definitely. It was something that I had wanted to do. It was the first thing I said to Joss. We had fallen into a bit of a dark thing in the second one, and it was a little too earnest. But that was also the story and that's fine, I'm proud of that. But this time I wanted to do something different. It's more relatable in this one; there's humor and he's grounded. I'm glad you seemed to think so because I haven't seen the film and I'm glad it made the final cut.
Was there anything else you lobbied for Joss to include?
The humor was the thing, but also just being relevant -- not just being there for the sake of it. There's so much going on and so many characters being introduced that your insecurity goes into overdrive and you go, "Well, wait, am I even going to be in this film?" So I was just making sure that I was still a part of the Marvel team.
You get to have a lot of screen time with The Vision, which is very cool. What was it like to see Bettany in one of these movies in physical form?
He's one of my favorite actors, and for that character to be so memorable as just a voice in the previous films says something about his talent. Until he turned up and read those lines and embodied that character, I didn't even know what the story was about. And then he brought it to life on such a scale, the whole thing was amazing; we just fall in step and follow suit. That was certainly the case for me as Thor.
There's a crazy scene where you go into some kind of mystical pool. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Yeah yeah yeah.
In the movie, in the final cut, it seems like you go back to Asgard or have a vision quest. But Loki isn't there. Did you shoot something with Tom Hiddleston?
Ohhhh, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to answer that. I haven't seen the movie. Ask me again after I've seen the movie. [Laughs] It was all about nightmares, wasn't it? That's what she stirred up, and the setting was, I guess, irrelevant on the larger scale but quite relevant to us as individuals. It being set in Asgard or some similar kind of place was quite poignant for those characters, and Thor's vision obviously takes place in Asgard. And I think he's tapping into a larger threat; there's the immediate problem on earth but Thor is sensing the universe colliding, so to speak, which ties into the next bunch of Marvel films. So it was nice to be clued into that.
Did they tell you that it was going to pay off later? How much do they let you in on?
A little bit, but ultimately they're the creators of it all, and we just turn up. But you know it's always evolving. Even this film, the original script was quite different than what ended up on screen. So who knows.
Can you talk about those differences?
Well, I just mean how we're all involved in it and what our relationship is to it. I mean, a lot of my stuff, to be honest, we were putting off because it wasn't shot until the second half of the shoot. So I was on set as a placeholder and, through the process, me and Joss were workshopping ideas and leading towards what would happen towards the end of the film. We wedged it into the end of the schedule. I don't remember it in any great detail, I just remember constantly trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Maybe it wasn't changing; I was just trying to understand it.
You obviously have some very lovely action figures but this time around you're also on a Doritos bag.
Your flavor is Spicy Nacho.
What about Thor says "Spicy Nacho" to you?
[Laughs] I don't even know. I didn't even know that was the case until you told me. Let me tell you now -- thank you for telling me that, I better now get a lifetime supply of Doritos.
Just your flavor, not anybody else's flavor.
Yeah, I don't want that other crap.
I was a big fan of "Blackhat," which came out earlier this year. But it wasn't really widely accepted. Do you have any theories about what happened there?
[Laughs] Look, for me to be able to work with Michael Mann, who has made some of the greatest films out there, from "Last of the Mohicans" to "Heat," two of my favorite films, it was such an amazing opportunity to work with him. If we could figure out the formula to why things work and how they're received, great; we'd all be incredibly successful. But it's a roll of the dice every time and you just do the best you can. They either land or they miss, and that's kind of it, but you can't think of the end result as much. I try and think, Am I going to learn something from this process orhave an experience that's memorable orwork with someone whom I admire? And that was the case.