Chris Hemsworth: If Elsa Pataky ‘gets angry enough, she’ll drop the English facade’

Avengers: Infinity War Premiere

Was anyone else a little bit surprised that Elsa Pataky didn’t attend the gigantic LA premiere of Avengers: Infinity War? She’s usually front and center for all of Chris’s promotional tours. But I guess things have changed since the Hemsworth-Pataky family moved to Australia, which Chris has always said he did as a way to avoid the media intrusion (an intrusion his wife seemed to welcome with open arms). So, Elsa stayed home. But she’s there in spirit, because Chris ended up talking about Elsa a lot when he stopped by The Ellen Show. I didn’t realize that Elsa was teaching their kids Spanish! That’s really cool.

Chris Hemsworth might need to take a few Spanish lessons — just to find out why wife Elsa Pataky is angry! The 34-year-old actor revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he’s at a severe disadvantage in his household because he doesn’t speak Spanish. Even his young children — daughter India Rose, who turns 6 next month, and twin sons Tristan and Sasha, 4 — are “fluent” in his wife’s native language while Hemsworth can utter “one sentence.”

“I would think it would be easy to learn because your wife speaks Spanish, and she would help you,” DeGeneres said. Hemsworth replied, “You’d think.”

So when Pataky is scolding their kids in Spanish, Hemsworth has to “pretend” that he knows exactly what’s going on.

“My wife will be telling them off and I’ll be standing there like, ‘That’s right!’ ” he said, revealing that he usually ends up muttering to Pataky, ” ‘What does that mean?’ ”

The Thor star also said he knows he’s in trouble when Pataky turns to Spanish while speaking to him.

“When I hear the Spanish directed at me, it’s usually unfortunate, controversial, aggressive situations,” he admitted. “So I’m just thinking, ‘What is she saying right now?’ and ‘What’s my comeback to this?’ When we’re fighting, basically — which is never! If she gets angry enough she’ll drop the English façade.”

Hemsworth’s family has spent time in Australia with his buddy Matt Damon and his four children, although the Downsizing star has had some bad luck Down Under. After previously revealing on DeGeneres’ show that his daughter Stella was stung by a jellyfish — a sting which Hemsworth admitted was “one of the worst I’ve ever seen” — Damon returned to give the country another chance. However, he had another unwanted wildlife encounter.

“We pull up to the café. He gets out of the car. He takes one step and takes a six-foot jump backwards and goes, ‘Oh my God, oh my God! ‘” Hemsworth recalled. “Huge big snake and he stood straight on him.” Hemsworth decided, “I’m like, ‘You know what, you’re the problem!’ It’s not Australia.”

[From People]

No, I kind of think it *is* Australia. That’s why Aussie men are so big and strong: they’ve had to fight off all of nature’s predators since birth. Australia is Peak Survival of the Fittest, Peak Evolution, Peak OMG-Everything-Is-Going-To-Kill-Me-In-This-Country. As for what he says about Elsa and speaking Spanish… I like that she’s taught their kids to be bilingual. But is it weird that he barely knows any Spanish? He makes it sound like he hasn’t picked up ANYTHING.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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77 Responses to “Chris Hemsworth: If Elsa Pataky ‘gets angry enough, she’ll drop the English facade’”

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  1. Flahoola says:

    Jaysus, his neck looks so long in that first snap!

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:


    • mamacita says:

      love this and reading about australia. I grew up there part of the time and when you garden, the spiders are many and large.

      as for their move there, I think it’s less about being photographed and more about the overal culture and lifestyle. it’a obviously more laid back there and low key than in the states. and more european than the states too. and she’s a european.

      lastly, love that he said she ‘tells off the kids’. the aussies have a way of describing things that’s so real. fair dinkum.

      • Cranberry says:

        Really more European, I hadn’t heard that before. I’ve never been, but I find that interesting cause I don’t think of European culture when I think of Australia. Do you mean British culture or is there a general continental/Brit European common cultural sensibility that you see? Or is it because there’s substantial distinct European ethnic communities in Aus?

      • Selena Castle says:

        Cranberry, there are certainly pockets of “Eurocentric” places in Australia. Melbourne; think Bath (England) or somewhere similar, Athens and Rome. Sydney; think any big, smelly city in the world. Brisbane; think of anything else, really… anything… it’s horrible. Byron Bay (where the Damon’s and Hemworth’s spend most of their time) think South of France or Italy, only less commercial, there is also a healthy dose of San Francisco, albeit much smaller. Byron Bay is a beach community that used to be a hippy mecca. Then a lot of celebrities bought homes there around 20 years ago and the place changed dramatically.

      • kittyhawk says:

        @cranberry. Some things that come to mind for me as I spent years as an adult in Western Europe, England and down under are for instance in Brit. Eur. Aus. and N.Z. the medical systems, the U.S. places a much higher importance on material objects, also age groups tend not co-mingle, nor people not sharing tables the same way in the U.S.. In the U.S. when people meet you they are more curious about what you do for a living, as opposed to that being a faux pas. Also because of trade agreements down under there are not as many U.S. products sold, more English and European food items. etc. Also the U.S. doesn’t seem to export their car styles very often. Little things like electricity, street signs, tipping, commercials on the telly and how often they run (3x as much in the U.S. I wear). These are just things I can think, many many more exist.

      • MissAmerica says:

        As an American married to an Aussie and having living in Australia for ten years, as well as traveling Europe extensively for long periods of time, collective years, I absolutely beg to differ. Australia is not European at all. In fact it reminds me more of the small towns in the Midwest or Southwest, there’s a rogue, country, backwater sort of feeling about it. I think American is even more similar to the UK in many ways. No offense, just my own opinion. I don’t see any cultural similarities with Europe, it’s especially lacking in art, architecture, cultural mannerisms, basics ones even like wearing a shirt and shoes in public, it’s a bit rouge. In 100 years it might be different. But I sort of think of it as the gentrifying neighborhood of the English colonial countries.

      • Kit says:

        Melbourne as Bath??
        Byron as South of France?
        Thanks for the laugh

      • Frenchk says:

        As a French with a longtime Sydneysider partner, I find that remark a bit odd. I actually find Aussie culture to be very very different from ours. Lovely but different, and even so différent that it can create difficulties sometimes.

      • Cranberry says:

        Thanks @kittyhawk. My impression has always been something like what @MissAmerica describes. I’ve wondered if it tends to be an oversimplified stereotype. But it’s also the little things that you listed that affect cultural attitudes and sensibilities. Aus is way out there far from UK and US, and I had the impression they have different trade exchanges and relationships to UK or EU than US.

        Aus and US have very similar historical development. Maybe the rugged Aussy in the Outback is always going to be the cultural stereotype of AUS like the cowboy taming the wild west is for US thanks to movies. But I find it interesting Aus relationship and attitude to EU. I’m sure Australians love the idea of Europeans choosing to holiday there. After all the expectation to regularly (yearly?) be given time off to travel is much more a cultural standard of Europe than US by far.

      • Godwina says:

        Australia as European? Dear lord, no.

      • CharlotteCharlotte says:

        Selena Castle, not sure if you’re a troll or what, but Brisbane is awful? Please do us a favour and stay away, then.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s always the first thing I notice when I see a photo of him. He is kind of unusually proportioned.

    • Raina says:

      Haha, you’re right. It does. Had to go back and look.

      If I speak to my son in Ukranian, he starts to panic. Nothing good is coming.

  2. Clare says:

    Remember when she did that cringey photoshoot with her ex? That guy Adrian something or the other? lols

    • Kitty says:

      Adrian Brody? Wasn’t he the guy that kissed Halle berry at the oscars

    • Scal says:

      That was her and Adrien Brody. He bought her a castle as a surprise. And then she dumped him for Hemsworth. After he bought her a castle.

      He ended up buying a 19th century home in upstate new york after he sold that one off.

  3. Bridget says:

    That feels weird to me that he doesn’t know any Spanish at all.

    • bella says:

      my parents are married 52 years. My father knows cuchara, leche, apagar la luz (pronounced by him as baga la loo), azucar and tu quieres…. oh…and da me un beso so I don’t think its weird at all.

    • MissM says:

      He does speak some Spanish, there are interviews with him in Spanish. He’s not fluent but he has pretty good conversational skills.

    • Liadee says:

      My mom is the first gen American in a Lithuanian family, and her generation and older are all fluent – their spouses not so much. My godfather can’t say more than some basic general phrases, but he actually can hear almost fluently. At holidays he used to sit next to his wife’s grandfather, who was 102 and had forgotten how to speak English, and they would carry on full conversations- one speaking in Lithuanian and the other in English. ( my mom confirmed that they were understanding each other)

      I personally can only speak a few key phrases with very butchered pronounciation. My grandparents started to teach me when I was a child, but stopped because they used to speak to each other in Lithuanian when they didn’t want my brother and I to hear them, and I eavesdropped. At the time they enjoyed the privacy of the language barrier, but now my grandmother regrets it.

    • Mama says:

      There’s knowing some Spanish and speaking some Spanish and then there is someone going off in Spanish in an angry tone and it flying by…. it is hard to understand at that moment. Speaking from experience…

  4. minx says:

    I remember on Scrubs when Turk secretly learned Spanish as an anniversary gift to Carla 😆

  5. FU Pay Me says:

    Divorce is on the horizon. They never should have married. Too different.

    • KeWest says:

      Much too different.

      Personally I would be a better fit for him.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Moreover, that one partner yells at another… yikes. No respect there, whatsoever.

      • Lithe says:

        It kinda reads like he’s sacrificing truth for humour.

      • Carmen says:

        I think it could be a cultural thing – people from Spain, Italy etc. just tend to be a bit louder and more outgoing, no matter if it’s a difference of opinion, a heated discussion or something else entirely. You should be at a dinner of my Italian relatives, it’s a loud and rambunctious thing. 😉

      • Mariposa says:

        I saw the interview on Ellen…it was pretty funny, it didn’t sound like they were screaming at each other or anything like that. I’m Australian, but I speak Spanish, and it’s a great language to get annoyed with someone in, because you can really make your words sound like a machine gun!

  6. OriginalLala says:

    My mother tongue is Italian and I was raised in quebec and went to French school my whole life so I’m tri-lingual and my family speaks all three languages interchangeably with each other but my hubby (who is from an Anglo province) has no Italian, apart from food items, and pretty limited French, after a decade together. Though he has taken alot of French classes, it’s really hard to become fluent as an adult without a fully immersive setting.

    • still_sarah says:

      @ OriginalLala : As an English speaker from British parents raised in an Anglo province, I feel your husband’s pain. I am abysmal with languages and I have often given the stink eye to my unilingual parents. My classmates with Italian or German or Polish parents all spoke two languages.

  7. Rapunzel says:

    Re: Not knowing Spanish, I bet he was exaggerating for humor. He probably knows basics. Fluency in a second language is difficult to gain as an adult, and some folks don’t have a head for languages to begin with, so if all he knows is basics (hi, bye, etc.), it’s not that strange.

  8. anna222 says:

    I’m Australian and I have our local snake catcher on speed dial, but I do live on the edge of a beautiful parkland. So yes, Australia is full of animals that want to kill you and yes it is worth it to live in paradise.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      But those Sydney Funnel Web Spiders…*HUGE shudder*!!
      Those alone would keep me away, much less all of the other venomous and dangerous creatures. No thank you!

      • Honest B says:

        Sydney funnel web spiders are located in one small part of a very large country😆

    • H says:

      It is Australia. Tasmanian here.

    • Em says:

      You’re more likely to be in a car accident than be bitten by anything other than a mosquito in Australia. It’s all hype, the Aussies themselves tend to exaggerate the dangers for the foreigners. Out in the bush/wilderness areas it’s a different matter but in the cities and small towns very minimal risk. You do know that twice as many people die of bee stings each year in the US than the number of people simply admitted to hospital for snake/spider/ jellyfish strike combined in Oz.

      • Carmen says:

        Em, I don’t know if this statistic is accurate – but even if it is, you have to keep in mind that there are more than 10 times as many US citizens than there are Australians, so you can’t compare numbers like that.

      • PamelaJudy says:

        I notice none of the Aussies on here have mentioned the Drop Bear problem around Byron…

  9. Jennifer says:

    To be completely honest it totally is Australia.

    Source: am Australian.

  10. Feebee says:

    To be fair about not knowing any Spanish, it sounds fast to me at the best of times but if he only hears it in anger there’s no way to pick up anything.

    On the flip side he should know the basics by now.

  11. Ria says:

    My mom Dominican and my dad is Nigerian. Mom speaks fluent English and Spanish and so do us kids. Our only Spanish speaking grandmother lives with them. My dad is still hopeless after 21 years of marriage haha.

  12. Michelle says:

    Not weird. My husband and I have been together for 12 years, he is bilingual and has been teaching our kids his mother tongue but I know a few sentences.

    • Sasha says:

      Pretty much me ! My kids are fluent in my partners mother tongue and English , I know a spattering of polite conversation , what I’ve picked up over the years , but what I can do in his mother tongue is swear like a sailor 😁 and curse him to high heaven which he oddly loves 🤷🏻‍♀️

  13. S says:

    I have no idea how much he’s getting paid by the Australian tourism board, but it’s not enough. I fell down a rabbit hole of his Instagram yesterday and it’s gorgeous, delightful and charming af.

    I get that it’s sponsored and manipulated, but if his happy family, great dad thing is 100% B.S., he is a way, WAAAYY better actor than anyone is giving him credit for.

    In related news, I now believe that a movie of he and Pataky’s Instas would gross more than Avengers.

  14. Mia4s says:

    “But is it weird that he barely knows any Spanish? He makes it sound like he hasn’t picked up ANYTHING.”

    Ummmm, am I allowed to point out that it’s also because he’s gone for months at a time which is less time to pick it up? Too bitchy?

    And I’d take that “move to Australia for privacy” line more seriously if they didn’t prolifically post pictures and videos of their kids on social media. Another site had a story about a camping trip that it turned out was a big last trip before daddy went off to film a movie and…they had posted all about it on social media. “Let’s have this special time with Dad and post all about it so the world can see!” Sorry, to each their own, but I find that kind of gross.

    • S says:

      He’s a paid spokesperson for Tourism Australia, as the social media pics of the trip indicated.

    • lucy2 says:

      While I don’t agree with celebrities putting tons of pics of their kids out there, I will say there is likely a difference between doing that, and having paparazzi following you almost all the time in LA.

    • Kit says:

      I haven’t looked at his IG for a long time, but I think they were careful not to show the kids’ faces.

      I don’t know why this caricature of Australia is still getting wheeled out. It’s not like other countries don’t have dangerous creatures. I was horrified when relatives in Florida lived in a gated neighbourhood where all the dogs were disappearing due to alligators on the golf course. And what’s scarier than a bear attack on campers? Australia doesn’t have bears, or wolves, coyotes, rattlesnakes, scorpions (maybe we have scorpions?).

      And finally, the men are not all big and strong. If you are planning to visit with this in mind, please adjust your expectations.

      • Cranberry says:

        Yes you have scorpions. Apparently Chris’s brother Luke tried to eat one when he was toddler is how I know that piece of Aus trivia.

      • S says:

        Yeah, I did notice that almost all of the stuff with the kids is either from behind or where their face is obscured by hair/distance. I don’t find it hypocritical. Having paparazzi surround and stalk your kids is a waaayyy different kettle of fish than deciding exactly what you, the parent, feel comfortable appearing on social media. Just like it’s different when a million flashbulbs pop for a celeb on the red carpet, versus when they’re just trying to get groceries. I’ve been next to people mobbed by photographers, and it’s scary. On the one hand, it’s price of fame, on other, can’t imagine how I’d feel if my kids were regularly subjected to that sort of scrum.

      • Polly says:

        Lol and agree with “adjust your expectations” about the big strong men.

  15. PPP says:

    ESL teacher here. If you don’t try to learn another language until adulthood, and you’re not great at languages anyways (some people have a knack, even later in life, some don’t), it can be harder than most understand. I think there’s a lot of psychological obstacles as well. You have to be really comfortable making a fool out of yourself and have a high tolerance for getting teased for making mistakes– most people, I find, are very impatient and insensitive to people who are in the initial stages of learning their native tongue. Things like refusing to slow down and making the person feel like an idiot for not knowing something that is simple to the native speaker but hard for a non-native. For instance, phrasal verbs. “Pull over” sounds like simple English but it does not naturally make sense to someone who knows what “pull” means and what “over” means. Spanish is super intimidating to and English speaker. The tenses are many, and they inflect according to person, you have to remember the noun genders, the saber/conocer distinction, the por/para distinction… Australians don’t grow up seeing Spanish on signs or kind of hearing it everywhere like a lot of Americans do, particularly Californians and Texans.

    • Cranberry says:

      Even people with Spanish speaking relatives living in places like Ca and TX don’t necessarily become Spanish speakers apart from a handful of common phrases. Imo it really has to be something you hear a lot, everyday, all around you so you can continuously practice. If both parents are bilingual but mostly speak English, it’s likely the children won’t speak much Spanish at all unless there’s another dominant Spanish speaker, like a grandparent, living with and sufficiently engaging with them.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        Yea, my cousin is half black, half Mexican. Her mother and older sister spoke to her only in Spanish for the first four years of her life, while her father spoke to her in English.

      • ennie says:

        YEs, Virgila, they start learning English mostly until they go to kindergarten. My bilingual nieces/nephews have lost a lot of productive (speaking/writing) abilities, but understand even after years of being speaking English only.

  16. Jordan says:

    I get to see this man in June wit my best friend. I’m so excited. Chris Evans and Tom will be there too but I’m going for Thor.

    • Lightpurple says:

      For your sake, I hope he wears that stunning purple suit he wore on Kimmel the other night. It was perfectly fitted to him and was a thing of beauty

  17. Gigi says:

    Well duh! Both me and my parrner have a mother tongue other than English. English was our common language in the beginning. I am now fluent on his mother tongue and this is our main communication language since we are living in his home country. But I will switch to English when I get angry and to my mother tongue if I get super angry.

  18. xdanix says:

    Elsa is actually in the middle of filming a Netflix series in Australia right now, so it probably just wasn’t possible for her to fly all that way and back just for the premiere.

  19. HannahF says:

    With respect to the pics above, I didn’t notice the long neck as noted by Flahoola—but I do agree. What I did notice was something Lainey/Dlisted posted about yesterday which is the fact that Chris is buttoning fewer and fewer buttons on his shirts.

    As for the specifics of what he said, I wouldn’t take any of it literally. He’s kind of a ham and plays off of Ellen’s comedienne style. Nearly everything uttered is for a laugh. (Didn’t see this but have seen clips of other appearances.) I also think that the schmoozey, jokey answers are used as a form of deflection in order to keep his private life private.

  20. Kath says:

    I think the “dangerous Australian wildlife” thing is waaaay overstated. I grew up in the central desert and have lived in 5 different states/territories, at various times in the outback, on the coast, and in the cities. I’ve been stung by a jellyfish (once) and stung by a bee (once). That’s it. That’s despite a childhood spent camping, swimming and rampaging through the bush unsupervised in places with giant snakes, lizards and spiders.

    The US has bears, coyotes, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, wolves etc. Our most dangerous mammal is probably a pissed-off koala. We DO have dingos, but attacks are freakishly rare and out of character, since they’re usually shy of humans.

    Compared to the UK, which doesn’t have any scary wildlife, I can see why Australia seems feral, but it’s probably one of the safest places on Earth.

    • Lady D says:

      The article I read was about the giant Huntsman spider and how it was the fourth leading cause of car death in Australia. Apparently, these spiders love to nap or hide on your car visor, when you pull it down, this giant spider lands on your face or lap. You crash and die. Part of the story included a couple who had been trapped in their house by an angry Huntsman spider. Or Huntsman’s who wrap themselves around a door frame and look like part of the exterior until you walk past them. There are youtube videos of people trying to trap Huntsmans in their homes, only to be attacked by them. Their legs are almost big enough to wrap right around your head, while they bite your face. Terrifying freaking creatures.

  21. Grinning mama bear says:

    Dude, politeness and respect for your native spanish spouse requires you to learn spanish. I would recommend that you do a formal spanish course at some adult education institute. Or get a private one-on-one spanish teacher. Self-teaching with books usually doesn’t work that well.

    Colin Firth has a native italian spouse and he once said that he tried to learn italian out of respect for his spouse. He indicated that his spouse would always be much better and he subtly indicated that he wasn’t that good but he considered it a matter of respect to at least be able to do some simple small talk. I don’t know how good Firth is at speaking Italian but I like his attitude and that he tried.

    • Cranberry says:

      Why ‘should’ he learn Spanish when Elsa speaks English. They likely met and courted in English speaking environments, and they’ve only lived in English language countries. Colin Firth I believe met his wife in Italy, and I’m not sure that she speaks English very well. Plus I believe they live/lived in Italy at least some of the time. I’m sure he has a home in each country.

      Yes it’s a nice gesture, but as I commented above, it’s unlikely someone can pickup Spanish even with a tutor if they are not practicing it constantly and hearing it daily. If he lives and Aus and also travels a lot, it’s not going to work.
      I’d absolutely agree with you if Elsa only spoke Spanish and very little English like a mail order bride. Or when English speaking people live and marry in foreign countries, yes they ‘should’ be learning the language to communicate with their spouse. Absolutely.

    • violet says:

      @Grinning Mama – I understand that the brain is most open to learning new languages in childhood, which is why schools are finally learning that they have to start in kindergarten, not junior high. That’s probably why his kids are bilingual already. It’s really hard to learn real fluency in another language in adulthood – that function in the brain “hardens” or something like that with sexual maturity. With his kind of career, all he’d likely be able to do is pick up a few phrases, anyway – he wouldn’t have time for all the ear training you have to have to be able to really understand rapid speech, which is the mark of real fluency.

  22. Clairej says:

    My friends used to live right by Chris during his Home & Away years. She walked passed him alot and he was gorgeous and always friendly, say hi etc.

  23. violet says:

    She can drop him right into my lap.

  24. SJhere says:

    All those Hemsworth brothers are plenty good looking. (I’m in MN, a place in which the phrase Plenty Good Looking is high praise, indeed.)
    I’d rank them Chris, Luke, Liam.
    I think he does publicity very well, he’s charming and does use humor to deflect from answering personal questions, which I actually like. I don’t honestly want to know the details of his marriage. Old Hollywood stars used to come prepared to do talk shows I think, they entertained with stories or a bit of singing. Dressed beautifully, well groomed, etc.

    Frankly, I am sick to death of the Oprah/Kardashian/social media “openness” I do not want to hear 99% of that stuff. Who cares?

    I come from a family in which the elders spoke German when they didn’t want the kids to know what was being said. I’ve tried learning German in my 40’s, and it’s a no go for me. I can cuss a bit, and boy I’ll tell ya…almost everything sounds mean when an angry person uses German.