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Chris Hemsworth talks Age Of Ultron - Interview

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Chris Hemsworth relished reprising the role of Thor in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” saying,  “It’s great to be a part of something that has this built-in audience and do the first film and have that audience respond positively and welcome you back for the next one and be part of something that has such following and success. It is a once-in-a-career opportunity. It’s cool to play a Super Hero.”


For the character of Thor, the film picks up after “Thor: The Dark World,” so Thor is now living on Earth. “We see a more grounded, earthly version of Thor than we have in the past,” says Hemsworth. “It’s nice because there are a few more opportunities for some humor and to see him in some casual gear instead of the cape and the armor that we always see him in.”


As far as Thor’s role within The Avengers team, Hemsworth informs, “He’s a central part of the team now. He’s established and there’s certainly a unity that they’ve all formed that is solid. Thor sees a bigger picture of the current conflict that’s going on. There’s the initial battle that they’re involved in but Thor uses Asgardian knowledge and starts to tap into some otherworldly possibilities to use against the threats that he thinks are coming.”


When you put The Avengers, who are sole leaders in their own environments, into another situation where they cannot all assume the leadership role, it causes tension and problems. Hemsworth explains, “There is as much conflict in the group as there’s been in the past and Thor certainly pinpoints a lot of the problems with Iron Man and blames him and has a lot of animosity towards him. But there are also some good laughs and humor. Thor and Cap always see each other as equals so there’s not quite the ego clash there. The rest of the team melds together but Stark is Thor’s biggest problem.”


Hemsworth elaborates, “Thor’s an easy target for Stark. Stark’s full of sarcasm and wit. There’s Thor standing there in a Halloween-like costume from another world and Stark enjoys having a dig at him but Thor likes giving it back. They’re very similar. That’s why they have moments where they can get along but a lot of the time they clash.”  


When The Avengers first meet Ultron, the robotic mega-villain played by James Spader, they have no idea what is going on but “through the film they are piecing together who is responsible,” informs Hemsworth. “Thor thinks Stark is certainly the main reason for Ultron but he also realizes that Stark had good intentions as to what he was trying to achieve by inventing Ultron.”


Describing Ultron, Hemsworth offers, “Ultron on one hand is an angry, misunderstood, immature being but he’s also one of the most dangerous and threatening things they’ve ever come across but Thor also sees he’s just a piece of a larger threat and a larger puzzle.”


Hemsworth admits that he had no idea of what Ultron was going to be like or how he was going to be played but when he saw James Spader inform and inhabit the role it all came together for him. “It was one of the first times on any set where I had really no idea what that character was going to be and how that performance was going to be played out,” says the actor. “The first time James did it, it just all made sense. The way he plays it everything has a sort of sarcasm and irony yet highly intelligent and it’s a beautiful mix. I remember the first time he came on set and did this big monologue for all of us. We all applauded by the end of it and forgot our lines because we were captivated by what he was doing.”


Marvel’s “Avengers” Age of Ultron” features more wirework with bigger stunts and the use of new and different fighting tools. Hemsworth comments, “I wanted to get away from Thor appearing like a Viking and just swinging a weapon around and being strong. Thor and Cap often pair up and do certain things as a team.”


With Joss Whedon once again writing and directing, Hemsworth felt comfortable in familiar hands. “Any time you have a director who’s also written the script, it’s a huge benefit because they can articulate exactly what their intentions were when they wrote that character, so you have the source of that information right in front of you,” comments Hemsworth. “He’s such a smart guy to be able to bring this many characters together and give them all a purpose and a focus and then have this huge, complicated story around it with tons of action, tons of humor and also heart. That’s the balance that a lot of these films miss and he’s a genius when it comes to melding those things together. Joss has a great sense of humor; he’s a good guy to be around. He is somebody you don’t mind spending 4 or 5 months with on the set and we’re very lucky to have found him.”


Hemsworth points out that Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is definitely ratcheting up the movie-going experience for audiences. He explains why: “We’ve gone to far more locations than we have ever before and covered more ground, so aesthetically it’s going to be a mash-up of a whole lot of different locations and styles and images. Everything has just been dialed up. Even the complexity of the story has gone deeper and we’ve seen all these characters evolve in the individual films and now to see them come together a second time is pretty exciting.”


Q&A FOLLOWS:


Q: Where do we find Thor in this film?


A: This time around the film picks up where Thor left off in “Thor: The Dark World,” which is having stayed on Earth, so we see a more grounded, earthly version of Thor than we have in the past. It’s nice because there are a few more opportunities for some humor and to see him in some casual gear instead of the cape and the armor that we always see him in.


He’s a central part of the team now. He’s established and there’s certainly a unity that they’ve all formed that is solid. Thor sees a bigger picture of the current conflict that’s going on. There’s the initial battle that they’re involved in but Thor uses Asgardian knowledge and starts to tap into some otherworldly possibilities to use against the threats that he thinks are coming.


Q: Does Thor seem more sympathetic to Earth now?


A: In this film, Thor has a greater affection for Earth and humans than the first time we saw him when he was arrogant. This time around his biggest concern is the wellbeing of this world and he is looking out further into the universe to make sure that the threat doesn’t consume this world as well.


Q: What is his role within The Avengers?


A: What makes this team interesting is you’ve got a bunch of people who’d be leaders in their own little pockets and then all of a sudden they are put into a team situation where someone has to lead and someone has to follow. There is as much conflict in the group as there’s been in the past and Thor certainly pinpoints a lot of the problems with Iron Man and blames him and has a lot of animosity towards him. But there are also some good laughs and humor. Thor and Cap always see each other as equals so there’s not quite the ego clash there. The rest of the team melds together but Stark is Thor’s biggest problem.


Q: What is it between the two of them?


A: Thor’s an easy target for Stark. Stark’s full of sarcasm and wit. There’s Thor standing there in a Halloween-like costume from another world and Stark enjoys having a dig at him but Thor likes giving it back. They’re very similar. That’s why they have moments where they can get along but a lot of the time they clash.


Q: How much fun is it to spend some significant time together on set?


A: It was great. It’s good because we’ve built that relationship from the first one and we’ve all gone off and done numerous individual films as these characters, so it’s all common ground now and it’s not quite as daunting as the first time around. We genuinely were lucky. We do get along. You know there are plenty of great onscreen relationships where off-screen people are at each other’s throats. But this is not the case here. I was talking to Robert and Chris and a lot of the guys before we started shooting and all of us were looking forward to coming back and kicking it off again.


Q: Does Thor carry more responsibility because he knows what lies beyond this world?


A: I think with him being a god and coming from the world he comes from that has to be what his strength is. He’s able to see further than the others and have knowledge that exists outside this realm, so that’s his position to fill and the weight he’s got to carry as well.


Q: What are The Avengers’ thoughts on Ultron?


A: The first time they see him they don’t know what the hell’s going on and through the film they are piecing together who is responsible. Thor thinks Stark is certainly the main reason for Ultron but he also realizes that Stark had good intentions as to what he was trying to achieve by inventing Ultron.


Ultron on one hand is an angry, misunderstood, immature being but he’s also one of the most dangerous and threatening things they’ve ever come across but Thor also sees he’s just a piece of a larger threat and a larger puzzle.


Q: Are there any new fighting styles or technology?


A: There’s a lot more wire work in this one and use of other fighting-type objects. I wanted to get away from Thor appearing like a Viking and just swinging a weapon around and being strong. There are bigger stunts and there’s been more teamwork going on too. Thor and Cap often pair up and do certain things as a team.


Q: After four movies do you think you have gotten pretty good with the hammer?


A: Yes, I do.  I’ve got little flairs but nothing that impressive. When the CGI comes in, it ends up being a bit more impressive than the little flick I can do with it. It feels funny though standing on set in that costume without the hammer. I don’t know where to put my hands. Evans talks about the same thing too. If he doesn’t have his belt buckle to hold onto and you’re left standing there you feel kind of naked.


Q: What was it like seeing James Spader as Ultron for the first time?


A: It was one of the first times on any set where I had really no idea what that character was going to be and how that performance was going to be played out. The first time James did it, it just all made sense. The way he plays it everything has a sort of sarcasm and irony yet highly intelligent and it’s a beautiful mix. I remember the first time he came on set and did this big monologue for all of us. We all applauded by the end of it and forgot our lines because we were captivated by what he was doing.


Q: What has been the most fun thing for you on this movie?


A: Any time the group is together it’s fun. It gets a bit lonely on your own when you’re just here on the green screen or whatever and not nearly as much fun. But the first few weeks when it was everybody in the rooms and working together it was great. Good time.


Q: What do you love about the character of Thor?


A: It’s great to be a part of something that has this built-in audience and do the first film and have that audience respond positively and welcome you back for the next one and be part of something that has such following and success. It is a once-in-a-career opportunity. There can be this great strength and knowledge and power with Thor but there’s also a sort of na├»ve kid there at the center of it too. Where he’s from he fits in but on Earth he’s kind of a fish out of water and it’s nice to have that contrast and that mix. It’s cool to play a Super Hero.


Q: Does he have anything new in his costume?


A: The costume gets a little bit more comfortable each time and this one is the best version of each of them so far. It looks great. It’s cool. We had less of the sleeves in this one because it’s just so hot when we’re shooting.


Q: Do you enjoy doing stunts?


A: I love it. If you have any attraction to sport and are an active person I think you can’t not enjoy it, especially when you just feel like a big kid. You’re out there swinging a hammer or some kind of weapon and fighting the bad guys and it’s great. Especially when you do some bigger stunts with the wirework and the adrenaline’s going a bit more. It’s a nice little buzz.


Q: What does director/writer Joss Whedon bring to these films?


A: Any time you have a director who’s also written the script, it’s a huge benefit because they can articulate exactly what their intentions were when they wrote that character, so you have the source of that information right in front of you. He’s such a smart guy to be able to bring this many characters together and give them all a purpose and a focus and then have this huge, complicated story around it with tons of action, tons of humor and also heart. That’s the balance that a lot of these films miss and he’s a genius when it comes to melding those things together. Joss has a great sense of humor; he’s a good guy to be around. He is somebody you don’t mind spending 4 or 5 months with on the set and we’re very lucky to have found him.


Q: What can audiences expect from this film and how is it upping the ante?


A: We’ve gone to far more locations than we have ever before and covered more ground, so aesthetically it’s going to be a mash-up of a whole lot of different locations and styles and images. Everything has just been dialed up. Even the complexity of the story has gone deeper and we’ve seen all these characters evolve in the individual films and now to see them come together a second time is pretty exciting.


Q: What did you think the first time you saw the new Stark Tower?


A: That was an incredible set. That was one of the most impressive I’ve been on. It’s Tony’s house so it had to be flashy and it was. It was awesome. But that was also the first couple of weeks of shooting when we all were there together so it was nice to kind of be in that setting and then shoot the party scene there and all of us be together and catch up.



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The Movie Bit: Chris Hemsworth talks Age Of Ultron - Interview
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