Chris Hemsworth fought to keep Fat Thor in "Avengers: Endgame," exited "Star Trek" over bad script

“Endgame” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have defended Fat Thor against criticisms

Published May 28, 2019 12:06PM (EDT)

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in "Avengers: Endgame" (Marvel Studios)
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in "Avengers: Endgame" (Marvel Studios)

This article originally appeared on IndieWire.

One of the biggest kept secrets of “Avengers: Endgame” was the introduction of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor as a heavier-set alcoholic. The character’s larger appearance was dubbed “Fat Thor” on the internet, but not everyone was laughing at Thor’s new look. “Endgame” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were accused of fat-phobia and making fun of obesity by using Thor’s weight gain as a source of comedic relief in the film. Hemsworth revealed in a new Variety cover story that the script originally had Thor revert back to his muscular physique midway through “Endgame” but that he fought to keep “Fat Thor” present throughout the entirety of the film’s runtime.

“I enjoyed that version of Thor,” Hemsworth told Variety. “It was so different than any other way I played the character. And then it took on a life of its own.”

While Thor’s larger appearance is initially used for comedy, the screenwriters defended the choice by saying Thor’s weight is never the obstacle the character has to overcome. Thor’s arc in “Endgame” is about pushing forward emotionally and not obsessing over his weight gain. As Markus said, “We fix his problem [at the end of the film], and it’s not his weight. I know some people are sensitive about some of the humor that comes from it, which I understand. But our issue that we wanted him to deal with was his emotional state that his mom addresses. And I think he is the ideal Thor at the end of the movie, and he’s carrying some weight.”

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Hemsworth’s decision not to let Thor shed the weight while his character overcame his emotional struggles allowed these two parts of the character to remain separate from each other. The film would have come under more backlash had the script implied that Thor’s growth was tied in any way to being muscular over fat. Hemsworth realized the film could make a point about happiness existing outside of body image if Thor’s larger appearance never went away during the runtime.

“Physically, it was a good three hours in hair and makeup,” Hemsworth said of the transformation. “Then the prosthetic suit, particularly for the shirt-off scene, that was a big silicone that weighed about 90 pounds. It was certainly exhausting. I had weights on my hands and ankles just to have my arms and legs swing differently when I shuffled along through the set.”

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Hemsworth continued, “People just kept coming up and cuddling me like a big bear or rubbing my belly like I was pregnant. Or trying to sit on my lap like I was Santa Claus. You get a lot of affection. I felt like an old man, an old grandpa, with a bunch of kids around. And then you get sick of it when people come up and grab your belly.”

The actor also got candid about turning down the next “Star Trek” sequel. Hemsworth was originally in negotiations to star in the fourth “Star Trek” movie (the follow-up to 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond”), reprising the role of Captain Kirk’s father, George. Talks fell through in August 2018 and at the time money was the reported issue, but Hemsworth told Variety it was actually the script that led him to exit the tentpole.

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“I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet,” Hemsworth said of the script. “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.”

Hemsworth next appears opposite Tessa Thompson in Sony’s summer tentpole “Men in Black: International,” in theaters nationwide June 14.

By Zack Sharf

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