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Chris Hemsworth hits pause on acting career after Alzheimer’s warning

Chris Hemsworth has revealed he is taking a break from acting – and hinted he may soon be hanging up his Thor costume for good.

As part of his new Disney+ docu-series Limitless, Hemsworth learnt that he is between eight and 10 times more likely than the average person to battle Alzheimer’s disease.

A series of genetic testing found that he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, which is closely associated with the disease.

In a follow-up interview with Vanity Fair, the Aussie actor revealed the harrowing health warning has prompted him to take a quick break from Hollywood.

“It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do,” he said.

As for what he has remaining on his plate, Hemsworth has already filmed his parts for Mad Max prequel Furiosa and Extraction 2.

But before promotions for those projects begin, with both due to arrive in 2023, Hemsworth plans to take a step back.

“Now when I finish this tour this week, I’m going home and I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife,” he said.

Marvel days are numbered

Not only will Hemsworth take a temporary break from acting – he may be hanging up Thor’s hammer for good.

The most recent instalment of Thor, this year’s Love & Thunder, suggested that there was more of Thor’s story to be told.

But when asked if he’d be back for more: “I don’t know. I think there’d be more to say if people want to hear me say it,” he said.

He suggested Disney would need to come forward with a new and exciting take on the character in order to pique his interest.

“Look, I’m completely open to it, if there is something unique and fresh and unexpected to do with the character and the world. I’ve always loved the experience. I’ve been very thankful I’ve been able to do something different each time.”

And if there was another, which would be Hemsworth’s fifth Thor film, the actor thinks that would probably be his last.

“I feel we’d probably have to close the book if I ever did it again, you know what I mean? I feel like it probably warrants that,” he said.

“I feel like it’d probably be the finale, but that’s not based on anything anyone’s told me or any sort of plans. You have this birth of a hero, the journey of a hero, then the death of a hero, and I don’t know—am I at that stage? Who knows?”

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Chris Hemsworth says his next Thor film would likely be his last (pictured with his Love & Thunder co-star Natalie Portman). Photo: Disney

As for why Hemsworth feels he’s reached the end of the road in the Marvel multiverse, it’s not exactly clear.

He has, however, admitted the role does take its toll – especially when it comes to maintaining his god-like physique.

While the eating and exercise habits veer on the “obsessive” side, he feels after years he’s finally gotten the hang of it.

“It’s exhausting … The discipline to it is like – you need to be obsessive about it. And at times it breeds insanity. You’re counting calories, and is there oil in that or butter? What’s in there? Dressing on the side?” he said.

“There’s a militant approach that you have. But I don’t know, I feel like over the years I’ve gotten the swing of it.”

Listening to his elders

While Hemsworth’s break from acting might seem out of the blue, it appears it has been weighing on the actor’s mind for some time.

Hemsworth recalled the times he’d been advised by Hollywood heavyweights to take things easy, particularly when your kids are growing up.

“I’ve had older, very experienced directors go, ‘Don’t do what I did’. They talk about their kids having grown up—and they missed it,” he said.

“What was interesting about it was, they were admitting the fault – but at the same time, they were still on set, still doing it. There’s an addictive quality to it, I think, about being in the mix and being a part of the chase and being part of the adrenaline that comes with all of it.”

In his brief intermission from acting, Hemsworth looks forward to spending time with wife Elsa Pataky and kids India, Sasha and Tristan, likely in their sprawling Byron Bay mansion.

For now, Hemsworth is done with constantly chasing his next project, and  feels a “sense of contentment”.

“I’m going to recharge now and just not be so focused on the future—and what’s next? And what else is coming? And what haven’t I done? I’m in a state of, not passive, but a little more surrendering to [the idea that] things are as they are,” he said.

“But it’s nice to sit now without the urgency or the anxiety of: ‘Quick! I need a job!’ or, ‘What if they don’t give you another opportunity? What if this is the last one’?”

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