“If you look at the archetypes of what the hero in cinema used to be, things I thought I needed to embody or do, there were a lot of misdirects. I got stuck in the stereotypical ‘this is how a bloke speaks and acts’ [mindset], which is pretty outdated now.
“Even as far as Thor goes, there’ve been various versions of the character; the last Thor was quite different to the first and second films, or the Avengers films. He’s evolved as I’ve changed, and now there’s a lot more of a conscious effort to do away with anything too familiar or predictable.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thor shows his vulnerability and sheds a tear. It’s not something he’s embarrassed by or trying to hide - there’s just a real openness and truth to it. ‘This is what I’m passionate about, and this is how it makes me feel.’
“We’re far more accepting and encouraging of vulnerability now. It’s OK to fail, it’s OK to say ‘I need help’ or to be uncertain. You don’t have to have the answer for everything, or to be a man of few words; it used to be that you couldn’t complain or show weakness or talk about your emotions. Some people are like that, which is also fine, but in terms of it being a one-stop shop for all of us? Nowadays you don’t have to be like that.
“There’s no shortage of knowledge around the causes of suicide and depression - that there’s a lack of understanding about these emotions, and that there’s a lack of channels for you to express these emotions. I’m from Australia, which is the home of the classic ‘dust it off and get back in the fight’, ‘don’t talk about your feelings’ [attitude].
“But I’ve noticed in the last few years that there’s a real shift; people I’d have thought of as being the quintessential Aussie bloke are now much more open to talking about their feelings, their relationships and so on. I think it’s fantastic.
“I look up to people who have a greater concern for others than themselves”
”When we first talked about the ‘Man of Today’ campaign, I thought the ideals and the messaging really fit who I was - about living a life with integrity and honesty and being true to your word. I think all of us could do with a healthy dose of being a bit more open to change and malleable in terms of the way we live and exist as human beings.
“For me, a modern superhero is about allowing yourself to communicate your concerns or check in with other people and see how they’re doing. I look up to people who have a greater concern for others than themselves - I think that’s quite an admirable quality.
“I look up to my mum and dad; both of them worked in child protection, so they spent their careers looking after the most vulnerable people on the planet, that being children. From a young age I was aware of the work they were doing, and of how lucky we were to have such a loving and supportive environment to grow up, while also being made aware that that wasn’t the case for everybody. To be exposed to the bigger picture at a young age is important - that’s how you build a sense of self-awareness or empathy.
“Finally, have a sense of humour. Don’t take yourself too seriously. [In the past] Thor could, at times, be very rigid and overly important and self-serious, which isn’t any fun. The people I enjoy being around are people who have a big smile on their face and make the most of every opportunity and are kind and generous and supportive. If you’re like that, you’re going to get a whole lot back in return.”
Chris Hemsworth is global ambassador for BOSS Bottled Parfums, #BOSSBottled #ManofToday. BOSS Bottled priced £45 for 50ml and available at debenhams.com
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