Aussie Chris Hemsworth, the budding star of $150 million action adventure Thor, went through a particularly difficult time before his big break came:
He had been a regular on the Aussie soap ‘Home and Away’ and decided to take his chances and go to Hollywood. Sadly, apart from a few minor roles he seemed to come to a dead end. Despair led him to the verge of giving up when he received his call to audition for Thor.
Chris now believes he was probably trying too hard in previous auditions and that his desperation was getting in the way of his ability to perform as a relaxed and real Chris.
Viktor Frankl calls this phenomenon hyper-intention; when you’re trying so hard that it interferes with your normal gift and ability. Our ego is hypersensitive to what it fears is its own failure and annihilation. It then becomes the powerful subconscious driver; it’s a state of being that causes most of the difficulties we will ever have as humans.
A comment from an old surfing friend would prove to be fundamental to Chris Hemsworth’s change.
This one’s the real deal:
The stunt coordinator for the movie Andy Armstrong now describes Hemsworth as the ‘real deal’. He says, “It’s just him. The first time I saw him work, I decided to make a lot more of the live action. It is now more full on contact. He is as tough and full throttle as any stuntman”.
Chris Hemsworth said “While I didn’t get into acting to fulfil my inner Viking, the physical challenges for the part were a whole of fun. I and my brothers grew up in the bush playing football and wrestling; it was always very physical.” Chris spent time on a cattle station in the Northern Territory before moving to Phillip Island in Victoria with his family. His boxing training came in handy too, since Thor’s muscular fighting style was meant to be based on that of Mike Tyson rather than that of the more graceful Muhammad Ali.
In the past I was not free to trust:
The young Aussie credits the glowing reviews of his performance as largely due to Kenneth Branagh’s direction; mind you the first thought of working with Branagh was totally intimidating. However the experience, in Chris’s words “ended up being the best.” He says, ”More than any other film I was able to let myself go and be myself in the role. I can now see in the past of tried to micromanage things. I was not free to trust.”
Reflecting on the whole experience Chris says ”It was clear I was wanting to be a success too badly and I started wanting too desperately to get parts, and that desperation came through in my auditions”.
‘There’s more to life than pretending to be someone else’.
What brought about the change? He says “An old Aussie surfing mate helped me get things back into perspective, when he said, ‘Mate there is more to life than pretending to be somebody else.’” Chris Hemsworth now believes that his difficult patch actually helped forge the steely resolve necessary to play this strapping, long haired Norse god and to do it by being the best part of his real self. How?
As for his character Thor in the movie Chris Hemsworth now believes his own life had to be in his words “Stripped back to the bare essentials before I could show the stuff that was really the core me”
‘Failures are the signposts on the road to achievement.’ C.S.Lewis
Chris says “I now believe the biggest lessons are learnt when you fail, you don’t learn much from winning; it can bloat your ego. It’s not until success is taken away from you in some way that you are forced to really find and build on a stronger foundation, a foundation of the real you”.
The ego always has to look good and be right; rather than be real.
The ego will always take us away from our core spiritual nature. That is why Jesus taught that we have to learn how die to our distorted selves to discover our real selves.