Chris Hemsworth Once Became Too Big for His ‘Thor’ Costume: ‘My Hands Started Going Numb’

Chris Hemsworth was already tall when he was cast as the Marvel superhero Thor. But the actor was encouraged to pack on the muscle needed to fill out the Asgardian’s costume. However, Hemsworth might have overachieved.

Why Kenneth Branagh cast Chris Hemsworth in ‘Thor’

Chris Hemsworth posing while wearing a black suit.
Chris Hemsworth | Don Arnold/WireImage

Thor director Kenneth Branagh felt that Hemsworth had all the qualities needed to bring his Thor to the big screen. After he and Kevin Feige figured out the kind of character they wanted Thor to be, they called in Hemsworth to fully test him for the role. Branagh and others were as impressed by Hemsworth’s physique as they were his acting abilities.

“It was really a privilege to see how he embodied all of that,” Branagh once said in an interview with Collider. “And then, ultimately of course, when he takes his shirt off, there’s also a wow factor that cannot be denied. When we were finishing up the film a few weeks ago, Louis D’Esposito, co-President of Marvel, said, ‘My god, he looks good in 3D!'”

Chris Hemsworth was initially too big for his ‘Thor’ costume

Hemsworth turned to the comics to help inspire his iteration of Thor. The Extraction star noticed how big the superhero looked in the comics, and wanted to emulate the appearance.

“I got the part and immediately started looking at the comic books, and the guy is 500 pounds or something and looks like Schwarzenegger,” he said in a 2011 interview with Los Angeles Times. “And I thought, ‘OK, I’m not gonna get to that’. But I have to get bigger.”

Hemsworth was also encouraged to do so by the directors. But when it came time to put on the Thor suit, he realized he might have overdone it.

“[The filmmakers] kept saying, ‘Yeah, get as big as you can, as big as you can’. And then I came back right before Christmas, just before we started the movie, and had a final sort of camera test and put the costume on and within a couple of minutes, my hands started going numb,” he said. “And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, that’s not cool’. And I started getting pins and needles and you’d touch the skin and the blood wouldn’t return to that area so quick. And I thought, ‘OK, it doesn’t fit.'”

Chris Hemsworth’s wife wasn’t impressed by his body for Thor

Hemsworth was able to impress many with his physical transformations into his Thor character. The actor recently bulked up even more in order to reprise his role for Thor: Love and Thunder.

In an interview with USA Today, Hemsworth shared that he’d become bigger than he’d ever been for the film. While going through lockdown for Covid, the star maintained a routine that consisted of training and eating out of boredom.

But his wife, Elsa Pataky, found his new physique a bit extra.

“My wife was like, ‘Bleh, it’s too much,'” Hemsworth recalled. “There are a lot of my male friends who are like, ‘Yeah!’ but a lot of female friends and family are like, ‘Yuck.'”

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