Chris Hemsworth plans on taking more time off from the entertainment industry after learning he has a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease.
The Avengers star, 39, discovered in an episode of his new Disney+ docuseries Limitless that his DNA contains two copies of the APOE4 gene, making his chance of developing the progressive neurologic disorder eight to 10 times higher than the average person's.
Hemsworth told Vanity Fair in an article published Thursday that the information made him want to take more time off from work to be present with his family.
"It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off," he said, adding that he's still in the midst of fulfilling work obligations he's contracted to do. "Now when I finish this tour this week, I'm going home and I'm going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife."
The Australian actor added that filming an episode of Limitless about death made him realise he's "not ready to go yet." Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Pataky, 46, share three children: 10-year-old India and 8-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan.
"Then you start talking about kids and family and going, 'Oh my God, they're getting older, they're growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie,' " he said. "Before you know it, they're 18 and they've moved out of house, and I missed the window."
Hemsworth also said he's become more comfortable turning down projects and is taking "a more curated approach" to his job selection.
"If something's going to pull me away from my family and my kids, it's got to be a positive, constructive, collaborative experience," he said, adding, "I'm not talking about retiring by any means."
According to Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer's causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. About 80% of people with Alzheimer's are over the age of 75.
There is no cure for the disease, but medications may temporarily improve or slow the progression of symptoms, Mayo Clinic says. – USA Today/Tribune News Service