Chris Hemsworth has quickly solidified himself as one of the most popular leading men in Hollywood, having scored more than his fair share of roles since breaking through with 2011’s Thor. His latest film – Extraction – put him back in the action genre and allowed him to reteam with Marvel collaborators Joe and Anthony Russo, who served as producers. One may be tempted to think it was the MCU connection that led them to pursue Hemsworth for the lead role, but Joe Russo says their reasoning was much deeper than that.
Joe and Anthony Russo recently appeared on our very own ReelBlend podcast to discuss Extraction. During the conversation, Joe Russo explained that it was Hemsworth’s charm and vulnerability that made him the right fit for the part, along with his ability to match the film’s physicality. Russo believes all of this adds up to Hemsworth’s best career performance:
Hemsworth is one of the great movie stars in the world right now. He has incredible charisma, and he has a really unique gift of expressing vulnerability in a way that invites you into the character, and makes you care about him and want to root for him no matter what he's done. I think that was very important with this character. He's also really committed on a physical level. When we did the Marvel films, it was a priority for us to have the actors actually executing as much of the action as possible. And [director] Sam Hargrave, who worked with us on all the Marvel films and directed Extraction, demands the same thing. And he really took Chris through very intense training for this movie. It was certainly the hardest thing, I think, that, physically, Chris has done in his career. But I also think that this is his best performance.
Joe Russo makes good points when it comes to Chris Hemsworth’s abilities as an actor. While many know him for starring in action franchises, he’s also proven to be a gifted dramatic actor. These abilities were on full display in films like Rush and In the Heart of the Sea. Hemsworth is also well versed in comedy, something he’s been able to channel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as Ghostbusters and Men in Black: International.
One point that should be highlighted is Chris Hemsworth’s ability to be vulnerable, which was particularly evident in his Avengers: Endgame performance. As “Fat Thor” Hemsworth played a version of the God of Thunder who was broken and depressed. Although there was plenty of humor to be mined from the character, he was also an allegory for the effects of failure on one’s psyche, and Hemsworth played it well.
And of course, the physical component of Chris Hemsworth’s work is just important as the others. The actor always seems to commit to training for his roles, so much so that his stunt doubles have to train twice as hard just to keep up with him. And this isn’t just limited to bulking up, as Hemsworth also had to lose a significant amount of weight for In the Heart of the Sea.
Yes, Chris Hemsworth is a chiseled movie star but, it’s hard to disagree with Joe Russo about his range and ability to show those layers on screen. And hopefully, we’ll see him continue to improve as time goes on.
Extraction is now streaming on Netflix, and you can hear the rest of Joe and Anthony Russo’s ReelBlend interview when it releases this coming week.