Chris Hemsworth, aka the Sexiest Man Alive, is following his Thor fame with a couple of comedy roles -- "Vacation" and the new "Ghostbusters" reboot -- but he's also making waves in the thriller "In the Heart of the Sea." The movie is based on the real-life story of the sinking of the whaleship Essex, which inspired the novel "Moby-Dick," and it's headed to theaters December 11. Ron Howard directed the movie, which stars Chris, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Holland, aka the new Spider-Man.

Entertainment Tonight got a first look behind the scenes and, in the on-set video, Chris talks about the cast's 500-calorie-a-day diet to be convincingly starved on screen. Ron Howard mentions that he talked to Tom Hanks about how to lose weight for a film, since the "Cast Away" star has done that a couple of times now.

Here are a few set photos from the director and Tom Holland:

Legends! Hemsworth and Murphey.

A photo posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on



Can't wait for this to come out. @wbpictures It's gonna be sick!!!

A photo posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on


Here's the official movie synopsis from Warner Bros.:

Oscar winner Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind") directs the action adventure "In the Heart of the Sea," starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy, based on Nathaniel Philbrick's best-selling book about the dramatic true journey of the Essex.

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

"In the Heart of the Sea" stars Chris Hemsworth ("The Avengers," "Rush") as the vessel's veteran first mate Owen Chase; Benjamin Walker ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") as its inexperienced Captain, George Pollard; Cillian Murphy ("The Dark Knight Rises") as second mate Matthew Joy; and Ben Whishaw ("Skyfall") as novelist Herman Melville, whose inquiries into the event 30 years later helped bring the story to light.

And here's the trailer:



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