Chris Hemsworth is best known for his imposing stature. Indeed, his toned, physique made him a perfect choice to play Thor in the Marvel films. It was a huge change, therefore, when he took on a role that required him to appear emaciated. The actor has explained that the process took a toll on him both physically and mentally.
In the Heart of the Sea
For his performance in In the Heart of the Sea, the 32-year-old actor had to drop a whopping 33 pounds in just four weeks and he described the experience as anything but pleasant. During an interview with Good Morning America, he explained: “The gaining is fine, you just eat a lot and you lift weights but that was underfed, which led to a pretty moody existence and inconsistent emotions… You play all sorts of games – if I eat this maybe I don’t eat that. The insanity is nuts.”
What exactly did the actor eat? Boiled eggs, salads and “nothing much.” He limited his intake to 500 calories per day. Anyone who has tried a diet that severely restricts calories can probably relate to how bad Hemsworth felt. Still, he said it was all part of the process.
In the film, Hemsworth portrays Owen Chase, a man whose ship is destroyed by a massive whale and, subsequently, spends 90 days stranded at sea. The true story is said to have inspired Herman Melville to write the classic, Moby Dick. Of the need to seem deprived, the star said: “In order to do it justice, the story, we had to suffer in some way and we did. In other words, not a whole lot of acting was required. We were desperate.”
It certainly sounds that way. It’s always interesting when a celebrity takes on a role that requires them to alter their appearance in such a way that they potentially put their health at risk. While Hemsworth, undoubtedly, had a great team of medical professionals supervising his weight loss, that kind of rapid change in body composition can come with some huge consequences. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like he’s suffering from any long-lasting effects but it’s worth asking whether it was all worth it.
The worst part is that the film debuted on December 11, 2015 and actually bombed at the box-office. He put in so much work and so few people actually went to see it. Perhaps, this will make him reconsider similar roles in the future.