When Chris Hemsworth becomes a huge movie star following Friday’s release of Thor, as most of the early reviews suggest he will, the actor will have his mother to thank. And not in the usual “I-appreciate-your-giving-birth-to-me kind of way,” but more in a “you-saved-my-audition type of way.”
The 27-year-old Aussie was originally rejected when he tried out for the role of the titular character in the superhero epic. Strangely enough, Chris’ younger brother, Liam, also an actor, ended up as one of the handful of finalists that Marvel Studios was considering. When he and the other candidates — who reportedly included wrestler Triple H and Kevin McKidd of Grey’s Anatomy — failed to make the cut, studio execs and director Kenneth Branagh decided to give Chris another look.
“I think I didn’t do too well in my first audition, and my brother was able to get in there and represent [for the family] in a better fashion,” Chris Hemsworth tells The Post. “When it didn’t go Liam’s way, my manager said, ‘He has an older brother.’ I sent another tape in, and I had a bit of motivation this time, in that they invited my younger brother in but not me. That was fuel for me doing better.”
Hemsworth’s new two-minute audition reel was shot quickly in a Vancouver hotel room, and it co-starred someone even more unknown stateside than Chris: his mother, Leonie. The two acted out a mock scene from “Thor,” in which the hero argues with his father, Odin. The Norse Allfather and king of the mystical realm of Asgard is played by Anthony Hopkins in the actual movie, but in this case, Mrs. Hemsworth graciously stepped in.
“It was a rather heated back-and-forth scene, and it was very funny to have my mom there playing the Anthony Hopkins character, the king of the nine realms,” Hemsworth says.
The subsequent audition process also required Hemsworth to perform stunt routines for the camera, including a fight scene involving Thor’s magical stone hammer, Mjolnir.
“There was the twirling of the hammer and spins and all that,” Hemsworth says. “It was not in my repertoire of skills.”