TORONTO – This year’s festival has certainly not been short on star power, but I’ve done fewer interviews this time around than any year I’ve been up here. That’s good in a way because it means I’ve seen more films, but there were a few conversations I absolutely couldn’t miss out on.
We’ll be bringing you chats with Ron Howard, Daniel Bruhl, and Olivia Wilde in support of the new film “Rush” very soon, but for tonight, I wanted to share just a bit of the conversation I had with Chris Hemsworth, who plays Formula 1 superstar James Hunt in the film.
When we first saw Hemsworth in “Star Trek” in 2009, he stole that film in just a few short minutes at the beginning, and it didn’t remotely surprise me that Hollywood immediately started trying to figure out what else they could do with him.”Cabin In The Woods” is a movie I like a lot, but it’s not really a showcase for who Hemsworth is as a performer. Sure, he gets the special “Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Deep Blue Sea’ Award” for going out in style, but it’s not his movie.
And while I think Marvel was positively brilliant to snap him up and lock him down to a long-term contract as Thor, “Rush” marks the first time we’ve really seen his movie star wattage fully tested, and he passes with flying colors. He attacks his role in “Rush” like a starving man handed a cheeseburger, and because the film doesn’t take the easy tact of just making James Hunt the good guy and Niki Lauda the bad guy, he’s allowed to create a complicated portrait of the guy.
We’ll get into that more in our full length interview. At the end of our short chat, I asked him about the differences between making a stand-alone “Thor” film, since he’s done two of them now, and an ensemble piece like “The Avengers” and the sequel, which I can’t believe is already gearing up to start shooting next year.
I’ve got a feeling Hemsworth is going to be one of those guys who has a long and varied career, and we’re still in the early days of seeing what he’s capable of onscreen. Still, it’s exciting to check in with someone as they’re on their way up, and Hemsworth sounds like he’s got his head on straight about it all.
“Rush” arrives in theaters September 20, 2013. You can read my review here.