From Home and Away to Hollywood Heartthrob – how Chris Hemsworth succeeded where so many soap stars failed before…
Name: Chris Hemsworth
D.O.B: 11th August 1983 (Melbourne, Australia)
Best known for: his leading role in Thor
Current/upcoming releases: The Cabin in the Woods (April 2012), Avengers Assemble (April 2012), Snow White and the Huntsman (June 2012), Red Dawn (2012), Rush (2013), Thor 2 (2013).
While it doesn’t happen quite so often for actors in our good old British soap operas like Eastenders and Coronation Street, there are in fact a few names in the acting and music world who owe their careers to a starting break in Australia’s two favourite daytime TV dramas – Home and Away and Neighbours. Isla Fisher, Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Guy Pearce and the late Heath Ledger all belong to this elite club of people who have found fame after a stint in one of these long running shows – they are, however, most definitely not the only ones who have left Australia for the bright lights of Hollywood. Many have done so only to return to their homeland with their tail between their legs ten years later to reappear on screen in the soap they left behind in search of worldwide fame and fortune.
The most recent triumphant addition to this club, however, is 6 foot 3, 28 year-old Home and Away alumnus Chris Hemsworth, whose roles in Star Trek and Thor have seen him propelled into the Hollywood spotlight in a way most other TV-turned-film actors could only dream of. Taking the leading role in Thor (and its sequel, set for release next year), Hemsworth is becoming quite the sought-after lead male – he was cast alongside Oscar winner Charlize Theron and star of the Twilight series Kristen Stewart in the much-anticipated Snow White and the Huntsman and fronts the cast of Joss Whedon’s newly released horror flick The Cabin in the Woods.
So what exactly is the Hemsworth appeal – aside from the obvious handsome, leading man looks? There are plenty of other attractive young actors jetting to America fresh from a stint in a long-running television programme and hoping to build a career for themselves on the big screen, but who fail to make the cut. Cracking Hollywood is a tough job, but somehow both Chris, and his younger brother Liam (who starred briefly in Neighbours before hitting the Hollywood scene and dating Miley Cyrus), seem to be succeeding here. His roles to date have not exactly allowed him to showcase a wide variety of acting skills – his distinctly masculine presence (yes, the tall, handsome thing) has seen him do well in roles which require just that, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a different, more emotional role if the opportunity arises over the next few years of his career.
In an interview, his Star Trek director JJ Abrams said of Hemsworth, ‘we really lucked out, it’s very exciting. The guy’s a sweetheart and a terrific actor’ – high praise indeed from an accomplished writer and director for the big and small screen. Having already signed up for two other films in addition to Thor 2 next year, Hemsworth’s success seems set to stay for the meantime. Hopefully as his career progresses the reason behind his victorious transition from Home and Away to Hollywood will become clearer as we see him take his place as a regular on our cinema screens.