Why Chris Hemsworth Wants To Follow In Ryan Reynolds And Others' Footsteps And Take Some Time Off

Chris Hemsworth in Extraction
(Image credit: Netflix)

For the past decade, Chris Hemsworth has grown into a worldwide superstar. From starring as the God of Thunder in a slew of Marvel movies to leading his own series of well-received action thrillers, Extraction and the soon-to-be-released Extraction 2, the actor seems to be on top of the world. However, in a new interview, the Avengers star announced his intention to follow in the footsteps of his fellow superhero actor Ryan Reynolds and take some time off. And the reason for the actor's planned hiatus is a bit of a sad one.

In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Chris Hemsworth revealed an ominous health warning as the reason behind his upcoming sabbatical from acting. According to the star, while on the set of the Darren Aronofsky-created National Geographic docu-series Limitless, he received blood and DNA work which revealed he carried two copies of the gene APOE4. Studies have linked the gene to an eight to ten times increase in the likelihood of someone developing Alzheimer's in the future, a sobering prospect that triggered the actor's need to take some time off. He said:

It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. 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.

While Hemsworth didn't reveal how long he plans to leave the spotlight, Reynolds' sabbatical lasted a year and a half. Perhaps we can expect roughly the same thing from the Thor star. The Extraction actor did communicate the health warning wasn't entirely a surprise because his grandfather has Alzheimer's. He continued: 

I haven't seen him in a few years, but my other family members have and there's some days where he's quite joyful and gives you a big hug. But my mum was saying he's just a really friendly guy. I'm not sure he actually remembers much anymore and he slips in and out of Dutch, which is his original language, so he'll be talking Dutch and English and then a mash-up and then maybe some other new words as well.

It's no wonder the actor feels the need to take time off to be with family. Though the star didn't receive a diagnosis, it must be a sobering warning. He's still carrying two genetic markers from both sides of his parentage, and his grandfather suffers from the disease, so he's ten times more likely to get it than the average person. It must put the idea of mortality front and center for the movie star. 

Luckily for Chris Hemsworth, he's already in incredible shape, and it's a level of fitness not easy to maintain. However, the early prognosis gives him the rare opportunity to adapt his lifestyle to prevent the onset of the disease. In the same interview, the actor revealed that there are preventative steps he'll have to be consistent with and take for the rest of his life. He continued:

I now have to work on this more. If you look at Alzheimer's prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life. When you have preposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything—it's all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It's all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.

We wish Chris Hemsworth a peaceful break while he spends time with those closest to him. Moviegoers most likely won't notice the Spiderhead star's absence as he will appear in Netflix's Extraction 2 and the upcoming George Miller-directed Mad Max: Furry Road prequel, Furiosa. Until the actor returns from his extended break, you can get your Hemsworth fill by streaming all of his marvel movies on Disney+ or one of the best action movies of recent years, Extraction, with a Netflix subscription

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.