Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for nearly ten years, it’s hard to imagine any of the main cast being played by other actors. Chris Evans’ Captain America is the cinematic universe’s moral center, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is charmingly chaotic and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was, for the longest time, the audience’s only glimpse into Marvel’s most fantastical realms. Things weren’t always destined to end up this way, though, especially for Hemsworth, who at one point was out of the running for the role while his little brother seemed like the most likely option.
Hemsworth recently recounted the story for W Magazine. According to Hemsworth, when he saw the casting call seeking a man over 6 feet, 3 inches and weighing in at over 200 pounds, the actor thought the role was in the bag. He even thought he nailed the audition with Thor director Kenneth Branagh, until he didn’t get a call back. Several months went by, and that’s when Hemsworth’s brother, Liam, comes into the picture.
“My little brother, Liam, was in Australia and sent a tape across and he got a call back, then another call back and then was down to the last kind of four or five people for it. I remember sitting in Vancouver, shooting Cabin in the Woods with Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Both of them were looking at the trades at this sort of top five guys for Thor and saying, 'Why aren't you in the mix here? What happened?' I said, 'I don't know. I blew my audition I guess.' None of those guys got it. My manager then called up and said, 'You know, he's got an older brother. Can we bring him back in?' So I did an audition in Vancouver in this hotel room with my mum reading Anthony Hopkins' part. She must have nailed it because it got me back in the room and that second audition was a lot different than my first one. I came in kind of with a little, I guess, motivation and maybe frustration that my little brother had gotten further than me. It's a little family, sibling rivalry sort of kicked up in me.”
No matter how Hemsworth managed to get the job, his role as Thor is about to change dramatically when the film series gets straight up cosmic in Thor: Ragnarok, the third Thor film, which is slated to release in theaters on Nov. 3.