In the upcoming film, Bad Times at El Royale, Chris Hemsworth plays Billy Lee, a charismatic and murderous cult leader who finds himself at the El Royale hotel.
Flamboyant with a dramatic flair, Billy is as far from Thor as we can imagine. Who would have thought that Hemsworth could turn from being a serious Norse God into a flashy, comical character?
Then he transformed into the Norse God- Thor, an arrogant, brash, deep-throated heir of Odin. In his breakout role, Hemsworth’s physique makes him the perfect choice for an Asgardian, all strapping and dignified.
There were hints of his comedic timing in the first Thor (2011); he was at a diner where he smashes his mug, declaring that the drink was good and he wanted more. That gave us a glimpse of the lighter side of Thor.
Hemsworth didn’t manage to show more of his funny side in the next few movies. Although Cabin in the Woods (2012) was filmed before Thor, it was released after. As one of four teenagers who ran into some dastardly creatures in the middle of the woods, the horror movie was hardly the vehicle to showcase his comedic talents.
After that, he appeared in movies like Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), where he spent much of his screen time brooding and trying to hunt down Snow White (Kristen Stewart) so that he can get back to his life of being a drunk.
Following that, it was a string of Thor appearances in the Avengers movies, including Avengers: Infinity War and the Thor Sequel- A Dark World (2013). These movies secured his leading man status but are starting to make him one dimensional.
Then he made Rush in 2013, which is a departure to his normal roles. He’s not a hero in this one, but Formula One driver James Hunt, a highly talented driver with a cavalier attitude.
The movie that really brought out the funny side of him is the Ghostbusters reboot, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call in 2016.
He plays receptionist Kevin, who aspires to be an actor but can’t even perform the daily functions of a normal person, much less receptionist. He makes situations that are otherwise ridiculous, like not knowing how to answer a normal phone, hilarious. Up against comediennes like Kristen Wiig, Kathy McKinnon and Melissa McCarthy, Hemsworth holds his own well, and in fact, outshines his co-stars. He really lets loose in this role, which is a stark contrast to his stern Thor character, and it was refreshing to watch.
It was as though his role as Kevin is the set-up to the third Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Taking a 180-degree turn, the movie, directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi, expertly uses Hemsworth’s comedic side to its full potential.
In the movie, He balances being heroic and hysterically funny, and it didn’t look weird at all that Thor had transited from his sombre Dark World outing to this.
His fight with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in the arena and the friends from work line brings out the laughs:
But it was the bickering with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) about using the “get help” trick that he truly shines:
It’s obvious that Hemsworth loves doing funny. It’s effortless and light, and makes us want to see him take on more comical roles.