You already know Chris Hemsworth from movies like The Avengers and Snow White and the Huntsman. You know Liam Hemsworth from The Hunger Games and upcoming The Expendables 2. But there’s a third Hemsworth, too. His name is Luke, he got into acting long before either of his brothers, and in case you didn’t know, he’s planning on joining them in Hollywood later this year. He has signed on with ROAR Management, the same team that handles his brothers.
The 31-year-old started acting ten years ago on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, but after years of chasing roles, he tells EW that he became “disillusioned” with the field and decided to open up his own timber-flooring business. While the flooring company (where both Liam and Chris have worked) has supported his family — which includes his wife Samantha and three daughters, ages 4, 2, and a new arrival who’s only a few weeks old — he decided about a year ago to get back into acting. His comeback role arrived quickly in the gritty motorcycle miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, which debuted on Australian TV in May.
We chatted with the eldest Hemsworth brother about growing up with Thor and Gale. Here’s what the affable Aussie had to say:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What were you all like as kids?
LUKE HEMSWORTH: We were crazy. We would spend time in the bush. Mom would say get out of the house, and we would just go. We had all sorts of large swings, and flying foxes, and various death traps throughout the forest that we’d try and do our best to hurt ourselves on. It was a great childhood in terms of being creative, I think. Getting outside, getting out of the house. Mom would put the TV in the cupboard. She’d say, “That’s it. I’ve had enough. The TV is going in the wardrobe,” and she’d lock it up for three months.
Before we move on, you need to tell me what a flying fox is.
A zip line, I think, is what you guys call it? Basically a rope between two trees with a knot at the end that stops you. Our knot was tied really close to the tree, so if you didn’t hang on with all your might, you’d actually wrap around the tree. Sort out the men from the boys that way!
Were you into surfing?
My dad’s parents lived on the beach, so we grew up around the beach, and then Mom and Dad moved there and bought a house, which is where they still live. We’re still down there every weekend almost, you know — my family and I. The girls are starting to really enjoy the ocean. But we all love surfing, the boys. We try to go on a surfing trip every year, [or do] some exotic thing in nature or something like that.
You mention your kids. Your brother, Chris, and his wife Elsa Pataky, recently welcomed a daughter, India. Have you gotten to give him any parenting advice?
I actually made him a little video on how to wrap her up so that she can’t get her arms out [of the blanket.] He had a bit of trouble with her — she’s a bit of a Houdini. So I made a little video of how we wrap up our baby, but he said she still escaped! (laughs) As a parent you go through a whole lot of really tough things, and you kind of want other parents to experience those tough things as payback — especially when it’s your brother. You need them to be awake half the night and realize all the complaining that I’ve done over the years about getting no sleep and having to deal with all the trials and tribulations. I actually try to give him as little advice as possible. Or lead him in the wrong direction — that’s a lot of fun too.
Did you keep in touch with Chris when he first moved out to Los Angeles?
We were definitely in contact for a lot of that time. Chris had some funny stories living in the back of [his manager’s] house, the guest house there, and becoming a bit of an unofficial nanny with his kids. He sort of had a bit of a trial-by-fire there as well. He called me up a few times and said, “What do I do?” And once again, I’d just lead him in the wrong direction.
Wasn’t your character on Neighbours an ex-surfer who became a paraplegic?
No, that was Liam! (laughs) Liam was in a wheelchair.
Well this is embarrassing. I mixed up my Hemsworths! Tell me about your character.
I was a footballer, and I was actually a drug dealer on the show, like a dealer of growth hormones. It’s funny, because I played football as a kid — Australian rules football — for ten years, and one of my nicknames was Roids.
Be honest. Did you ever do them?
No! [Laughs] I never had to. I was all ridiculously oversized calves and thighs and biceps and head. My head is massive. My head is like off the charts.
Have you met Liam’s fiancé, Miley Cyrus?
Yeah, she’s great. She loves our kids, and our kids absolutely love her. She won our hearts. I find her really interesting. I find her very articulate, and years in maturity above her age. But at the same time, she’s very much like Liam. I think a lot of people don’t realize that they are really, really in love. They actually are a perfect match in a lot of ways.