Bulking up for Thor

(Not much about language. Mostly about actors and the male body, focused on Chris Hemsworth.)

Caught last night, a Saturday Night Live re-run of the December 15th show (season 41, episode 8), with actor Chris Hemsworth as host, sometimes being charming, also doing a long bit as an aggressive practical joker (exposing the malicious display of dominance in much practical joking, which is not just playful “kidding around”); in a skit with a bunch of men hired as male strippers who instead do a Broadway show-tune revue, inciting the fury of the women who had come to see their ding-dongs (nice inventive euphemism); in another skit masquerading as a woman singing the praises of CH as Thor; and more. So: surely not by accident, a lot of material putting a spotlight on masculinity, gender displays, and gender politics.

(Yes, I’ll get to CH wielding his phallic hammer as Thor, and of course to a shirtless shot of a carefully developed, muscular CH.)

As one of the incompetent strippers:


And in drag:


(A wonderful smile, very often on display.)

Overview from Wikipedia:

Chris Hemsworth (born 11 August 1983) is an Australian actor. He is best known for his roles as Kim Hyde in the Australian TV series Home and Away (2004) and as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). He has also appeared in the science fiction action film Star Trek (2009), the thriller adventure A Perfect Getaway (2009), the horror comedy The Cabin in the Woods (2012), the dark fantasy action film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), the war film Red Dawn (2012) and the biographical sports drama film Rush (2013).

CH is an energetic, highly physical, high-testosterone actor, and the parts he’s played, though varied in some ways, almost all align with his tastes in presentations of self.

Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, to Leonie, an English teacher, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counsellor. He was raised both in Melbourne and in the Australian Outback in Bulman, Northern Territory. He has stated, “My earliest memories were on the cattle stations up in the Outback, and then we moved back to Melbourne and then back out there and then back again. Certainly most of my childhood was in Melbourne but probably my most vivid memories were up there in Bulman with crocodiles and buffalo. Very different walks of life.” He attended high school at Heathmont College before his family again returned to the Northern Territory, and then moved a few years later to Phillip Island. He is the middle of three boys; his brothers Luke (older) and Liam (younger) are also actors. [Luke born in 1980, Chris in 1985, Liam in 1990]

Now the big payoff, from a bodybuilding site on 12/1/15, in “Race God To Norse God: Chris Hemsworth Thor Two Workout”:

Chris shaped up to play Thor for the blockbuster “The Avengers,” then slimmed down to become British Formula-1 world champion driver James Hunt for “Rush.” Immediately afterward, he bulked right back up again to don the red cape and wield the mighty hammer of his alter ego for “Thor: The Dark World.”

He put on 30 pounds of muscle for The Avengers, to get the look that fans expect in a superhero,  then thinned down for a very different part, then muscled up again for the next Thor film. Nature gave him broad shoulders and relatively narrow hips, but all the rest is hard work.

The bulkings-up put him on a fierce unforgiving diet and work-out regimen that became the topic of endless net discussion, directed at men who would like to look like CH in Thor mode.

In Thor mode, clothed:


and shirtless. in training:


One Response to “Bulking up for Thor”

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