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Men Of The Year: Chris Hemsworth

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The down-to-earth Hollywood A-lister who isn’t above making his own audition tapes

“When it came to casting the part of James Hunt, we were all scratching our heads,” Rush director Ron Howard told ShortList earlier this year. “Someone mentioned Chris Hemsworth, but I told his agent, ‘Look, I liked him in Thor, but, sorry, I don’t think he’s James.’ Chris was on location filming Avengers Assemble, but within 36 hours, he had put together an audition tape, shot in his hotel room and emailed it to me. It was him, as James, performing a monologue, and it was so centred, intelligent and confident. Instantly I thought, ‘We can stop scratching our heads and get on with making this movie.’”

If most people had regular seven-figure pay cheques and their own line of action figures, they probably wouldn’t spend time sweating over homemade audition tapes for jobs that would result in less cash and no toys. But then, Chris Hemsworth is not most people. And 2013 was the year he proved it.

Having put in stints as Marvel’s Norse God, this September saw him graduate to playing an actual, mortal human being, in the form of cocaine-and-champagne-fuelled F1 legend James Hunt. Hemsworth’s blistering turn transformed him from comic-book hero to ‘serious’ actor in one fell swoop. Howard was so impressed he even cast him alongside Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw in forthcoming shipwreck drama In The Heart Of The Sea.

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