“I was about to quit. I got more and more anxious to the point where I couldn’t harness or use that energy. It was all to my detriment.” – Chris Hemsworth on Auditioning
Chris Hemsworth is best known for playing Thor, the god of thunder, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though the Australian actor has branched out into several different types of roles since he first wielded Mjölnir in 2011’s Thor. In a revealing interview with Men’s Health, Hemsworth explains that before being cast as Thor he had a difficult time finding his place in Hollywood and speaks about how his anxiety affected his early career.
As for what he’s learned from his first decade in Hollywood films, Hemsworth says, “I’ve stopped asking, ‘Who do I have to be? What personality do I have to shape in order to succeed in this business?’ And just going, ‘Truly be yourself’. That’s when things started to change. That’s when I felt happier.”
Of course, Hemsworth admits that while he was fully committed to his dream when he came to Hollywood, he was nowhere near as confident as he is now. He explains, “There was nothing else I wanted to do. I had not a shadow of a doubt that I was going to go to Hollywood and work. As I started auditioning a whole lot of doubt chirped up and fear and anxiety and ‘What the hell am I attempting to get into?’”
In fact, Hemsworth reveals that after he didn’t have much follow-up success after playing Captain Kirk’s father in 2009’s Star Trek, he considered leaving the industry. He says, “I was about to quit. I got more and more anxious to the point where I couldn’t harness or use that energy. It was all to my detriment.” His anxiety also affected his performances in his auditions. “I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t nervous before auditions rather than grabbing hold of it and going, ‘Use it, raise up the awareness here, sharpen your focus, point it in the right direction.”
Hemsworth points out that actors can easily get in a negative headspace when it comes to auditions because of the constant rejections. He explains, “You’re constantly living in this world where you come out of an audition and you’re not analyzing how you can do it better, you’re analyzing what the obstacles were and how unfair it is, which is just bullshit, it’s a real trap.”
And while Hemsworth’s nervous audition days are behind him, the motivation to improve and reach new goals hasn’t changed. He says, “Over the years, as I’ve got more comfortable with things I’m always thinking, ‘Oh, don’t get too comfortable’. You’ve got to stay hungry. You’ve got to keep motivating yourself.”