If you were playing one of those word‐association games and someone said “Chris Hemsworth,” odds are that your knee‐jerk response would be “Thor!” Portraying the God of Thunder in the MCU is, of course, Hemsworth’s best‐known role and is the performance responsible for launching him into the upper echelons of Hollywood.

But what impresses me about Chris is that he could’ve just done nothing but play Thor ever again. I mean, he’s not going to be hurting for money any time soon. Instead, after gracing the big screen with his mighty hammer for the first time in 2011, he’s made some really interesting career choices that show he’s much more than just an action‐film guy who’s content with staying in that box. Here are 4 movies where Hemsworth surprised audiences:

The Cabin in the Woods – A year after Thor was released, Chris starred in this surprise‐hit horror‐film satire as the stereotypical “athlete” who’s probably not gonna fare well in your average teenage slasher flick. Critics went wild over how the film turned the genre on its head, making The Cabin in the Woods the best‐received film of Hemsworth’s career (until Avengers: Endgame came out!). While this performance alone didn’t break Chris out of the Thor mold just yet, it showed that he was savvy about picking good scripts, up for trying out different genres and willing to take risks with a brand‐new film director like Drew Goddard.

Rush – Fast‐forward one more year, and you have Chris in a starring dramatic role one month before Thor: The Dark World was released. In Rush, he plays real‐life Formula One racer James Hunt, who had an intense rivalry with fellow driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) that continued even after Lauda survived a horrific crash that permanently disfigured him. Both actors completely transformed into the men they were portraying, and it made everyone realize that Hemsworth should be taken seriously as a dramatic actor.

Ghostbusters – But then he surprised everyone again with his small but scene‐stealing role in this female‐led reboot of the 1980s classic. He plays the clueless receptionist Kevin, and a recent interview reveals that much of his performance was improvised, making his hilariousness all the more impressive. Hemsworth has stated that it was this role that he thinks helped get people ready for Thor taking a more humorous turn in Thor: Ragnarok and, of course, Avengers: Endgame.

Men in Black: International – Ghostbusters made me realize how truly funny Hemsworth was on his own, and that his funny lines in the Thor films hadn’t just been good writing. MIB: International surprised me in that it proved Chris’s commitment to sci‐fi comedy — I was definitely thrown a bit when I learned that he was starring in this reboot alongside his fellow MCU pal Tessa Thompson. This film proves their sparring chemistry wasn’t a fluke, and lets Hemsworth flex his comedic muscles even more.

But don’t expect Hemsworth to fall into any sort of pattern. His next film, Dhaka, appears to be a dramatic thriller in which Chris plays the starring role as a mercenary hired to rescue a kidnapped child.

And then of course we know we still have Big Lebowski Thor to look forward to in the next Guardians of the Galaxy installment!

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