Chris Hemsworth just admitted that he was once so intimidated by the idea of improvisation, he thought his career was about to be ruined. In an interview with GQ, Hemsworth dishes about some surprising past insecurities that he’s dealt with. Namely, he believed that Ghostbusters would tank his career.
The A-list actor was cast as the hot but stupid Kevin Beckman in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. When he looked at the script, started freaking out that there was almost no direction. Director Paul Fieg had seen Hemsworth do some comedy (including a Saturday Night Live episode) in the past. He’d decided that was enough for Hemsworth to play Beckman.
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But Hemsworth wasn’t as sure.
“I said to Paul [Feig], ‘There’s not a whole lot on the page, like, what do you want me doing?’ He said, ‘Oh, we’ll figure it out when you get here.’ So, I said, ‘Okay, why not? Let’s go.’ And I got there, turned up to the studio the day before we started shooting and he handed me the script, I read the script and I said, ‘There’s still nothing in here. Like, what am I doing?’ And he said, ‘It’s okay, we’re gonna improvise and have fun.’ And my immediate reaction was, this is not only the end of my career but I’m going to ruin this film, I’m gonna let everyone down, I haven’t done this before, what am I doing?”
Improvisation is a huge part of many people’s acting training, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone gets an equal amount of practice at it. Additionally, Hemsworth was cast alongside some improv experts—all SNL alums.
The leads (Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, and Leslie Jones) ended up helping Hemsworth out in a huge way.
Hemsworth says that when he met his Ghostbusters costars, he became way more comfortable.
“…There was such a sense of camaraderie and collaboration there at play,” he tells GQ. “And they took me under their wing and we just went on this adventure, this wacky adventure of discovering who this character was… 90% of it was improvised and in the moment. And… not often do you have an environment to really do that in.”
Check out the interview below.