Over the last decade, Chris Hemsworth has become one of the biggest stars in the world. His unique blend of comedic chops and ridiculous good looks have made him a star, but his choice of roles has defined his career. Though he's most well-known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hemsworth’s acting range is broad and impressive.
Hemsworth has tackled complex roles in biopics, superhero films and horror movies. In his newest film, 12 STRONG, he will be portraying one of the brave soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11. In honor of the film’s release, let’s look at the roles that put Chris Hemsworth on the map.
STAR TREK (2009)
J.J. Abrams' STAR TREK boasted a star-studded cast, including a few actors that weren’t household names at the time. Chris Hemsworth played Captain Kirk’s father, George Kirk, who bravely gave his life so the other crew members – including his wife and son – could escape.
His screen time was brief, but Hemsworth delivered a heartfelt performance that resonated with fans. This role did not make Hemsworth a star, but much like Brad Pitt’s role in True Romance, it's one of the smaller roles that has become a staple of his career.
THOR was one of the first films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and by all accounts, it was a huge gamble. Very few people believed that a live-action adaptation of the character would work, but, nevertheless, it succeeded. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the hero was a huge part of the film’s success, and it put the star on the map.
At the time, no one knew that the film would only be the first step in Hemsworth’s career. Nor did they know that the character of Thor would go on to be incredibly popular. It’s been almost 7 years since the film premiered, and to many, Chris Hemsworth is still the living embodiment of the character.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)
Following on the heels of THOR, Chris Hemsworth’s next film, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, was an abrupt departure from any of his previous films. (In fact, CABIN was shot even before we saw Hemsworth in STAR TREK, but a series of delays kept it from theaters until 2012.) Hemsworth plays Kurt, one of a group of friends that travels to a remote cabin to party. His character comes off as a one-dimensional jock, but in a series of twists, it is revealed that everyone isn’t acting like their normal selves.
Within the structure of the film, Hemsworth played his character wonderfully, and proved he was a perfect fit for the dynamic cast. To this day, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is considered one of the smartest horror films, and for very good reason. The film was an odd blend of parody and earnestness, that turned the typical teen slasher troupe on its ear.
Marvel's THE AVENGERS (2012)
Marvel’s first super team-up, The Avengers, was an unprecedented achievement. The film brought together Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, breaking box office records as the individual heroes teamed up. The movie was anchored by a strong script and a stellar cast, but it also had all the popcorn-fueled blockbuster goodness that kept audiences coming back for more.
The Avengers announced to the world that superhero films were back, and bigger than ever. Not only did the film make the MCU the cornerstone of the superhero genre, but it also made the entire cast – including Chris Hemsworth – some of the biggest names in entertainment.