Chris Hemsworth: ‘Bodybuilding is seen as vanity’ but ‘it is a full-time job’


Do you like meaty men? Thicc men? I usually go for tall, lanky string beans, and I find super-buff guys kind of intimidating. In my head, they’re judging me for not being buff or whatever. I don’t have any reason to believe that they’re actually judgmental, superficial a–holes though, it’s just a stereotype I have of super-buff guys and I doubt I’m alone in being prejudiced against meaty guys. Well, Chris Hemsworth would like to have a word. Chris is often very bulky and muscled-up for the Thor films, but he enjoys the buff life in general too. And he wants people to take it seriously! He wants you to see his beefiness and think “wow, what a serious actor.”

Chris Hemsworth opened up about his training regimen to The Telegraph — and while doing so, he claimed that the “bodybuilding” he engages in might cause people to take him less seriously.

“There’s an aesthetic that the role requires,” he stated. “Bodybuilding is seen as vanity, whereas if I put on a bunch of unhealthy weight, or got unhealthily skinny for a role, I’d probably be called a serious actor. The training across 10 years of doing it is a full-time job. That and then a 12-hour shooting day — it’s a real grind. It’s incredibly rewarding, too — you have to look at it like a professional athlete.”

It definitely sounds like Hemsworth’s routines are intense. At another point in the interview, he talks about how quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed him to “see how [he] can manipulate [his] body.”

[From Buzzfeed]

I’m old enough to remember when Hemsworth complained a lot about how much time he had to spend at the gym for Thor. Times have changed! Anyway, while I don’t think this is really the issue of the day, I do agree with him on one thing – if he was transforming his body in a different way (losing tons of weight, or putting on a lot of non-muscle weight) for his career, people would have more respect for his “process.” There’s a reason all of these actors take roles that don’t suit them – they want to win awards for their “transformations,” when really, different actors should have just been hired. Chris is doing as much work – if not more – to get crazy-buff for his action movies and comic-book movies. That being said, I think Chris just enjoys being buff now. And I’ve never thought he was very bright, but whatever. He doesn’t have to be.



Photos courtesy of Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram.

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52 Responses to “Chris Hemsworth: ‘Bodybuilding is seen as vanity’ but ‘it is a full-time job’”

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  1. Lauren says:

    In real life, I go for tall, lanky men as well, but I do like looking at beefy, bulky hot men, no brain needed. Hemsworth is hot. He is my third favourite Chris after Pine and Evans.

  2. Sierra says:

    His body in Infinity War and Ragnorak was he best.

    I don’t like the too buff look.

  3. whatWHAT? says:

    eh, he may not be Mensa material but he’s FUNNY…and charming and smoking hot.

    he’s def my Best Chris, followed closely by Pine and then Evans.

    Pratt is a prat.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, I was just going to say… he’s smart enough to be funny. I don’t get the idea that he’s dim at all.

  4. Case says:

    “Do you like meaty men? Thicc men? I usually go for tall, lanky string beans, and I find super-buff guys kind of intimidating.”

    This is me. I’ve always gone for the tall and lanky type. Some muscle is okay I guess, but I am so actively NOT attracted to the Chris Hemsworths of the world. I don’t see the appeal at all of excessively muscly men. That picture of him with the tire doesn’t even compute in my brain. I guess that’s why I’m a Loki girl instead of a Thor girl, lol!

    • smcollins says:

      Yes! I’m totally a Loki girl, too. I’ll take Hiddles over Hemsworth any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I think Chris is hot and super funny (always a win in my book) and I love him as Thor, but the huge, bulging muscles he’s been sporting lately is a real turn off for me. And it looks like his wife has joined him in his journey, she is ripped!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      Loki instead of Thor?

      Why not both? 😉

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I like them both lol

  5. Brittney B says:

    My last boyfriend (before the current one) was a fitness addict (& coke & alcohol addict, but that’s another story). He was 6’2” and biracial, so he got called The Rock pretty much everywhere we went, and his career revolved around fitness too.

    As a woman who grew up in the 1990’s, I always assumed I was a little too flabby for him, a little too soft, not thin enough, etc…. it turned out he called me “Olive Oyl” to all his friends because of how skinny he thought I was.

    Not doing that again. I wasn’t attracted to him because of his body, but clearly that was all anyone ever noticed about him; all his exes had been very image-conscious and fit, and all his male friends tried to emulate his workout routine. He liked me because I was “different” and because I saw him in a different way… but I could only exist in that world for so long. I’m sure it doesn’t *have* to be toxic or vapid… but that was my experience.

  6. Silver Charm says:

    I mean, the body size and work don’t matter if the talent isn’t quite there. He’s got some comedic timing but hes not exactly clamouring for roles where people might take him more seriously anyway?

  7. Snuffles says:

    The only time I found Chris Hemsworth sexy was when he was in the first Thor. Must have been the long hair and the cape. He stopped being appealing to me once he cut his hair short.

    I too prefer tall, lanky men. I enjoy a toned, lean bod but when I see a super bulky guy I automatically think “meathead” and every frat boy / dumb jock stereotype imaginable.

  8. Rocķy says:

    I appreciate the work Chris. I really do.

  9. Lanagen says:

    His arms look disgusting in that top photo, like his biceps might burst at any second. Roids aren’t worth it Chris. No human gets to looking like that naturally.

    • Mama says:

      Actually they can… it is unfair, considering how much work he puts in on a daily basis, to just assume he’s on steroids. It’s a fundamental lack of knowledge about how the body can be shaped and formed.

    • Grant says:

      Good Lord, just because someone has big muscles doesn’t mean they’re using steroids. He probably did some curls before the party knowing there were going to be photo ops and that’s why he’s got such a pump. There are plenty of huge bodybuilders who are completely natural; just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  10. Kate says:

    I think actors get recognized for physical transformations when the role is very dramatic and shows range and depth. When the role is shooting off funny punch lines in between 5 minute action sequences, they aren’t going to get recognized for their acting range and depth. That said, I appreciate how much work it must be to maintain that physique. It must consume his life. And he surely gets Paid for those films so there ya go.

  11. Mia says:

    I’m a model and he’s right about keeping fit being grueling. I once had a casting director pinch my arm fat and ask if I could loose it by Friday.😢 I’m sure it’s even more intense for movie stars. I want to be a teacher someday and leave it all behind.

    I agree about the culture of transformation in Hollywood being a bit pointless, the Best Actor
    Oscar should really be called the Most Actor sometimes.

  12. DS9 says:

    He’s not wrong and unfortunately, he’s never going to get the kind of credit he deserves in part because of the bodybuilding and also because Hollywood and many other acting communities refuse to acknowledge the talent and work in certain types of roles.

    They will choose time and time again to reward “serious” acting roles/movies and refuse to acknowledge comedies, sci-fi, action-adventure movies even when clever, well written, well acted, and beautifully shot.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      So true! I never understood why some genres get no recognition at all, it seems so silly to me. Maybe it’s an excuse to award something to movies that nobody wants to watch and don’t make much at the box office.

      I also agree that being fit is a full time job.
      Unless you are born a naturally fit type of person, it is time consuming to get fit and then maintain it. At some point I was being involved in fitness and weight lifting 4 hours a day. Needless to say, two months after stopping I went back to be a plump mess with no toned look like I never had done anything.

      Now to lose weight I walk 15k steps a day and barely lose 1/3 of a pound a week (and this spending time checking calories too)

  13. JEM says:

    I love him and think he’s hilarious, but his muscles in that tire picture are TOO BIG. Blech.

  14. Sunday says:

    Doesn’t he have a fitness app or workout program he promotes? Not to discount what he’s saying because clearly it takes a lot of work to maintain that body type, but this just seems like spon con to me.

    • Cava24 says:

      Totally. And he and Elsa post selfies and short clips of themselves working out constantly. And she has books about fitness. I think most of the people who want to be taken seriously for their work aren’t posting on IG five days a week or shilling stuff, endlessly. Fitness is work but their vanity is bonkers. She used to be much worse than he was but he’s been as bonkers as she is for the last year or so.

  15. Nicole says:

    I think he’s a very talented actor. He has comedic timing (see Ghostbusters), and that is my personal litmus test for actors.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I don’t mind him either. I wouldn’t say he’s very talented but he is just the same as many revered actors.

    • Sankay says:

      Agreed. I don’t think he gets enough respect. If you think about his work in The Marvel movies and Men in Black amongst others he acts a lot with a green screen which is not easy. There are some actors who really despise working with them and avoid it. In his case, he he sure gets on with working regardless of the scene.

  16. Siggy says:

    Body building is literally a 24/7 thing and if you’re not careful it trigger a lot of disorders. It’s hard to dial back down

  17. Léna says:

    The last picture, just no. Too much for my taste!

  18. tealily says:

    I dated one guy who was very muscular. I didn’t realize until after we got together because he didn’t dress to show off his muscles or anything. Anyway, it was kind of weird. He was hard where I expected him to be soft!

  19. MangoAngelesque says:

    My husband is a power lifter. Not a bodybuilder, but a power lifter… less “ripped beach bod” and more “Mountain from Game of Thrones.” Actually, literally Mountain from Game of Thrones (the real Thor), I’ve gotten to meet him and he’s super nice. But that’s irrelevant.

    Point being, it really is a lifestyle for my guy, but maybe because powerlifters are a different sort and are more about the brute strength and sport and not about the aesthetic, it doesn’t come along with the hangups that the other stuff tends to, like the judginess and disordered eating and whatnot. I tend to like the look of the power guys, anyway. The ones that are too focused on their abs aren’t typically as much fun 🙂

    • Robyn says:

      My husband is also a power lifter and I’ve had the exact opposite experience. He only eats chicken and brown rice, even at family gatherings. He convinced some “men’s health” doctor to give him testosterone despite his levels being in the normal range. He works 12 hour days and goes to the gym obsessively afterwards for two or three hours, and gets really upset if he’s not able to. He doesn’t even talk to myself or our kid anymore because all he can talk or think about are the gym and his Facebook gym bros.

      It sounds like your husband has a great relationship with food and the gym, and that’s so great! There’s a big problem in men’s fitness with disordered habits that not a lot of people are talking about.

      • MangoAngelesque says:

        @Robyn— I’m so sorry you guys have had such a lousy go of it! *hugs* I guess we have been lucky in a lot of ways. It’s taken its toll in other ways, with the physical toll on the joints and all, but psychologically he’s been solid. And the doc has been very firm in everything, as has his physio, thank goodness. Plus he’s vegan, so that’s played a big role in a lot… he’s a huge advocate of being a vegan lifter, and he wins regularly, much to everyone’s amusement/consternation, since he isn’t a militant vegan, but he does wear a “Vegan”shirt when he competes, just to poke at the other guys since they tease him…lol. Big tattooed dude who doesn’t eat meat but then gets up there and trounces them… heh.

    • Ange says:

      Powerlifters are also a different body type generally, they tend to be barrel chested with short arms as that’s the body type that works best for it. It doesn’t really lend itself to the ‘pretty boy’ physique lol.

    • IMARA219 says:

      Same my hubby spent most of his life powerlifting as his hobby/workout regimen. It’s just how he rolls. They are most definitely with a different mindset and culture than both cut lifting and bodybuilding.

  20. Juju says:

    Bodybuilding is indeed a full-time job. If you take it somewhat serious your whole life revolves around it. You eating, your going out, your exercise, your realtionship. Almost everything comes second to it. But most of all it’s disordered eating and over-exercising. There’s almost no way to do it in a healthy way.

    • Sienna says:

      I personally disagree that bodybuilding is a full time job. I’m a bikini competitor and I do 1 hour of lifting 5 days per week and 20 mins of cardio per day… mostly something fun and active with a friend, like a light jog.

      The food gets intense leading up to a competition, it’s measured and very clean, but otherwise I don’t feel like my lifestyle is overly time consuming; Especially when compared to my kids’ workouts as competitive swimmers.

    • Grant says:

      There are plenty of ways to engage in bodybuilding in a healthy way. Lifting 4-5 days per week for an hour or an hour and a half (which most bodybuilders do) is not over-exercise. Many bodybuilders are also quite regimented with their meals; tracking macros is not disordered eating.

    • IMARA219 says:

      I agree that body building is like a full-time job. There is a lot of competition for heavy-weight bodybuilders who do quit and just work out full time.

  21. tcbc says:

    He’s ridiculous. Is he really wondering why actors who make themselves “uglier” for a performance get praised as “brave” whereas his bodybuilding, which makes him more attractive, doesn’t? No one in a shallow industry is going to call you brave for being as pretty as you can be. Besides, the physical transformation talk in the cases he’s too chickensh*t to mention directly is merely marketing for the performance. Most of those actors have the performances and talent to back up the talk. Whereas ALL Hemsworth has is the transformation.

    Hemsworth is lucky non-entity. His “comedic timing” is…merely okay. He would not be mistaken for a professional comedic actor if he wasn’t Thor, and a huge part of the appeal of those performances we’ve seen so far is playing against the beefy stereotype. He’s never shown any ability to carry or propel a comedic scene on his own, nor has he demonstrated any talent in creating comedic moments himself, past obvious occasional quick asides. Giving him too much credit for being mildly amusing is insulting to actually talented comedians.

    He’s just the epitome of entitlement. How many women work just as hard to remain as thin as they do in order to work at all? Yet if they claimed they ought to be praised for it, they’d get crucified. They’d be called out for glamorizing eating disorders, just as Hemsworth should be called out for exercise bulimia and steroid abuse. And most of those women, if they want to be taken seriously, actually pursue challenging work. He’s done…two films, which could kinda be seen as “serious,” and both were serious in a middle of the road, Clint Eastwood/Ron Howard kind of way. Hey Chris? Artists make art. You have to try to make art. Not just 3 hour toy commercials.

    Honestly people like this drive me crazy. You get to be popular and rich, stop complaining that people don’t praise you for something you are not. If you weren’t Thor, you’d still be doing dance competitions and Australian soap operas. And once your run in Thor is over, you will have five more years of big fame, tops, unless Taika’s scumbag cheating self decides to adopt you permanently. Be quiet and enjoy your ikea-sized, suburban mall looking, ecological disaster of a house.

  22. detritus says:

    I was with a gym guy for a long time. I don’t miss the massive amounts of time at the gym necessary to keep a body like that, nor the restricted diet.

    I see bodies like Chris’s and just think – gym widow

  23. Darla says:

    My ex was a body builder so i used to know a lot of them, and i was shocked to find they are LESS judgmental than other men. They tend to view people who are overweight as being victimized by the fast food industry, or “big preservatives inc”. lol. They are actually pretty cool, you’d be surprised.

  24. browniecakes says:

    Chris, you are blocking my view of Taika.

  25. Kate Bush says:

    I have to admit I think he’s pretty damn hot. But I like all shapes and sizes of guys tall and lanky can be nice too

  26. Dara says:

    At least his streak of always finding something job-related to complain about in interviews is intact. I’d like him a lot more if he would just shut up about how hard he has it. He won the mediocre white dude lottery, and has been moaning about it ever since.

  27. Amber says:

    one of my exes was a bodybuilder. The thing that was hard about it for me was that I couldn’t really cook for him because his diet was so restrictive. He would eat what I made him but I could tell he was worried about the calories the whole time because I would use butter in sauces and things like that. Usually dudes who are obsessed with looking buff care more about what other men think of them, and they judge themselves more harshly than women. I wasn’t all that fit or muscular when I was with this bodybuilder guy and I never felt like he judged me.

  28. IMARA219 says:

    I like thick men. The football frame/heavy weight lifter men (not to be confused with cut lifting or bodybuilding). I like a man with a little bit of meat on his bone. Think M’Baku from Black Panther 😋.

  29. Sadie says:

    Ah my favorite male body type was a guy I knew that surfed every day. Beautiful, firm and unassumingly HOT. Him over beef cake any and every day.