Hanging out with Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth at our exclusive duo superhero cover shoot in New York City, only one thought comes to mind: Man, I need to get to the gym.
But back to our superhero mash-up. Two of this summer's biggest guys (we mean that literally and figuratively) shared the love, just for USA WEEKEND's Summer Movie Preview. You may not know them yet — Evans burned up the big screen as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, and Hemsworth is an Aussie hunk in his first major starring movie role.
But you will soon, when the two actors duke it out at the box office for the season's hottest, or coolest, superhero: Hemsworth, 27, as the title thunder god of next month's Thor (May 6) and Evans, 29, star of Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22). Also sharing the credits: Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins in Thor and Tommy Lee Jones in Captain America.
And though we thought they were in the kind of shape that most mortal men envy, both Chrises were in the process of rebuilding into Marvel-ous, super-bod condition to film the reprise of their roles in the ultimate comic hero smackdown, the movie The Avengers. Meaning that unlike most celebrities at a photo shoot, who barely touch the elaborate spreads laid out for them, these guys couldn't get enough. They made several trips to the buffet table for presumably muscle-building chicken, fish and fruit.
Even more unusual about the occasion: the security guard. And he wasn't protecting our famed superheroes. He was guarding the comic characters' gear — Thor's hammer and Cap's shield — lest it be assaulted by the enemy (or overly eager fan).
Fortunately, we were able to get up close and personal with the stars themselves. After the shoot, we sat down for a man-to-man chat. Here are excerpts:
What went through your mind the first time you put on your colorful costumes? Hemsworth: Holy [expletive]. I walked onto set, and Anthony Hopkins and I were in our full get-up. We looked at each other and he said, “Well, there's no acting required here, is there?” It was like being a kid playing dress-up, but the costume's worth more than your house.
Evans: It's all still terrifying. It's a lot of responsibility and a little nerve-racking. As actors, you make movies for the audience — you really can't act without an audience, otherwise you'd be crazy. And this is such an important thing for the audience, you really want to make sure you get it right.
Who are your personal heroes? Evans: This sounds cliché, but it's so true: my parents. They've done everything right when it's really hard, and they've been very selfless. To me, there's something about a hero that should be selfless. It's a very tough thing to do, to put yourself last, and they've done that consistently.
Hemsworth: I grew up surfing, and I idolized Kelly Slater for years. As a young kid, I had a theater studies thing I had to do on a Sunday at school, which I wasn't happy about. That was my surfing day. [One Sunday,] my dad had come back from surfing, and he goes, “Guess who I surfed with today?” I was like, “Who?” “Kelly Slater.” I remember my eyes literally watering because this guy was a god to me. They couldn't have told me anything worse. That I missed that opportunity was heartbreaking.
Did you feel silly doing any of the superhero stunts? Hemsworth: Some of the wire gags and hanging upside down. I'm a pretty active person, but some of that stuff, I was like, “God, get me down from this thing.” It's hard work! It's like you're an actor one minute and an acrobat the next, spinning upside down backward for certain things and just wanting to throw up. But it all looks good once it's up there on the screen. We know you worked out hard, but did you enjoy getting out of shape, too?
Evans: As soon as we stopped shooting, I stopped going to the gym. Oh, my God, I never wanted to see another weight in my life! I completely just dove into a bowl of lazy for about two months. Hemsworth: It was really weird because you almost become addicted to it. Then all of a sudden the hand brake is pulled and you're allowed to relax. There's a part of you that doesn't really want to, because it's used to doing this, but you do need to rest.
How cool has your personal life been lately? Evans: Well, it's not not cool [laughs]. It's fun.
Chris Hemsworth, what did your new wife think of your physical transformation? Hemsworth: Some girls love more muscles, some girls less. She likes it if I'm sort of generally healthy. Physically for women, it's usually less of a concern than it is for men. We tend to be a bit more superficial.
What's your superhero workout tip for America? Evans: If you want to die, you're doing it right. I've always worked out my whole life. But I go to the gym and I'd leave feeling good. That's not a workout. You want to leave the gym contemplating killing yourself. If that's what you're thinking, then you're having a good workout.
Source: USA Weekend