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SYFY WIRE Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth on 'Furiosa' and how 'Limitless' changed his outlook

The Marvel star explains how a key piece of information changed everything.

By Matthew Jackson
Chris Hemsworth

When Chris Hemsworth signed on for Limitless, a new docuseries meant to explore the furthest reaches of human longevity and experience, he didn't expect to get some crucial news regarding his own lifespan. Then, during a blood test meant to examine his various genetic markers and predispositions, that's exactly what happened.

As part of shooting Limitless, Hemsworth was supposed to get a full battery of genetic testing done so he could learn things about his own future health prospects, never expecting that he'd get frightening news along the way. Then, doctors told him he has two copies of one gene which put him at much, much higher risk for Alzheimer's than the average person. It changed everything.

"The show, which initially was an exploration of longevity and, of course, should be fun, became even more relevant and important for me, even more poignant than I ever thought it would be," Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. "It was a really good catalyst to dive into everything I needed to be doing in either the prevention front or the management front or however you want to classify it. It's not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant."

RELATED: Anya Taylor-Joy on finishing ‘Furiosa’: 'It’s the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been’

Naturally, such an alarming test result — particularly for Hemsworth, whose own grandfather suffers from Alzheimer's — changed the way Hemsworth viewed the world, and deepened the experience of making Limitless while cementing the actor's commitment to spending more time with his family after his current film projects are wrapped up. It also changed the way he thinks about film projects in general, a sentiment backed up by his experience making Mad Max: Furiosa with legendary director George Miller.

"Now, if something's going to pull me away from my family and my kids, it's got to be a positive, constructive, collaborative experience," Hemworth said. "I shot with George Miller on the new prequel to Fury Road, part of the Mad Max saga, and I said to my agent, 'That's where I want to spend my work hours; with someone who is kind and collaborative and interesting.'"

Speaking of Furiosa, Hemsworth couldn't say much about the character he plays opposite title star Anya Taylor-Joy, except to note that he's playing a "very complicated, somewhat evil individual." He did, however, speak very highly of Miller, who's acknowledged in the interview as both a brilliant director and a kind man.

"And a genius — but not the mad type," Hemsworth said. "One that is very aware of how his energy affects others, and how he has the power to make your day fantastic or s****y, and chooses for it to be a positive experience. The whole crew, everyone is in a better mood. It baffles me that some people in that position don't understand that."

Limitless is now streaming on Disney+. Furiosa is set to hit theaters May 24, 2024.

Looking for some sci-fi fun? The first two seasons of Resident Alien are now streaming on Peacock.