Published: Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 11:43:41 AM

Chris Hemsworth gives viewers an adrenaline Rush

Chris Hemsworth has been on track for big things ever since his Hollywood debut in the 2009 films 'Perfect Getaway' and 'Star Trek' (as George Kirk).

Chris Hemsworth has been on track for big things ever since his Hollywood debut in the 2009 films 'Perfect Getaway' and 'Star Trek' (as George Kirk).

Chris Hemsworth shifts gear to play an F1 driver in new film.

HAVING bulked up for Thor: The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth found himself having to lose some of that extra weight really quickly before he started filming Rush.

Directed by Ron Howard, Rush sees Hemsworth portraying race car driver James Hunt, in a four-year period of the Englishman’s life leading up to Formula One World Championship in 1976.

While Hunt stood an inch shorter than the 190.5cm Hemsworth, Hunt was a lot slimmer – so, you know, he’d fit in the small space of the racing car.

In a transcript provided by TGV Cinemas, Hemsworth shared: “For Thor I was 98kg and I got down to 84kg for this film, and it was hard work. It’s funny, my wife was pregnant at the time and I felt I had more symptoms of pregnancy than she had – I was moody, hungry and tired – because I was overtrained and underfed. But I had to get rid of all of that weight because I was obviously too big.”

Well, his effort definitely paid off as the Australian actor not only fit into an F1 car, he also got to drive it in scenes that are less dangerous.

According to the blue-eyed actor, the first time he got to drive such a powerful machine, he felt the roar of the engine and how the car vibrated.

“You are locked into this little cocoon and your shoulders are rubbing the sides of the cabin and you feel that this car is an extension of your body.

“And there’s such a sense of power because it’s right at your fingertips. You also realise how vulnerable you are because of the precarious nature of the machines. It’s an incredible feeling. Once you get into that machine you immediately understand the addiction to that world and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. It hits you in the gut.”

Besides taking a peek at Hunt’s life, Rush also explores the intense rivalry between Hunt and fellow driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) on the race track. They were pretty much considered the rock stars of racing at that time – two professionals, both at the top of their games, each with a different personality and lifestyle. It is said that in the 1970s, driving race cars was a lethal profession as safety was not top priority, unlike now.

Hemsworth was intrigued as to how this affected Hunt, an adrenaline-junkie with a reputation for drinking and enjoying the company of women off the track.

“What was it that attracted them to that kind of world? I think there was an immediacy that the sport gave them. Nothing forces you to be in the moment more than the threat of death and that highly adrenaline charged race.”

Chris Hemsworth plays the English race car driver James Hunt in the Ron Howard film, Rush.
Chris Hemsworth plays the English race car driver James Hunt in the Ron Howard film, Rush.

Hemsworth theorised that Hunt (who died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 45) lived a fast life off the track to keep the excitment going after the race was over.

“James was a man who didn’t want to conform to any standard or expectation for a few different reasons. There was something I admired about the lack of self-censorship he had. He took it too far in many instances but, look, for me working in a business where you’ve got to be constantly careful about what you do or say and then reading about this guy and listening to audio interviews with him, he just didn’t care (laughs).

“And you kind of go, ‘I couldn’t get away with that!’ Love or hate what he did, you’ve got to respect him throwing it to the wall with everything that he did.”

Thirty-year-old Hemsworth has had his career on track since his Hollywood debut in the 2009 films Perfect Getaway and Star Trek (as George Kirk). His popularity was sealed when he was picked to play the God of Thunder in the 2011 film, Thor. He reprises the role for the upcoming Thor sequel, out on Oct 31, and also in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015).

Married to Spanish actress Elsa Patanky, who gave birth to their first child last year, Hemsworth is currently attached to a number of projects.

One is Cyber, a film directed by Michael Mann, shot partially in Malaysia. The muscular actor was shooting scenes in a number of places in the Klang Valley all of last month before he flew to London early this month to promote Rush.

After Cyber, he follows up with another collaboration with Ron Howard in the director’s next film, In The Heart Of The Sea, which is based on an event involving a whaling ship in 1820.

“The first thing I thought when I finished Rush was, ‘When can I get back onto a set with Ron, he’s the best’. I mentioned In The Heart Of The Sea to him, he read it, and loved it and things took off from there.” 

Rush opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

Related story:

Daniel Bruhl is a driving force

Tags / Keywords: Movies, Rush, Chris Hemsworth, James Hunt, Ron Howard, Olivia Wilde, movie


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