Chris Hemsworth was nervous. The Australian actor may be Thor, the god of thunder, but he was about to face off against four comic titans when he stepped on the Boston set of the Ghostbusters reboot last summer opposite Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.
Turns out, the man had nothing to worry about.
Not only had director Paul Feig prepped Hemsworth for his role as the ladies’ dopey assistant, but he also provided him with a slew of jokes and told him he didn’t need to improv at all.
“I told him not to worry. He wouldn’t have to come up with anything if he didn’t want to,” says Feig.
When the four women sat down for Hemsworth’s character’s job interview scene, not only did he prove he was fully capable of ad-libbing back at them, he threw out jokes that Feig insists will wind up in the July release.
“I remember looking at [screenwriter] Katie [Dippold] like, “Did you write that for him?” And she said no. He just turned out to be this amazing improviser,” says Feig.
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The director says he tailored the role more specifically for Hemsworth after he first met him. “The part was originally written as this guy who doesn’t really want the job, who is a little more snarky,” says Feig. “But Chris is so lovable, we thought it would be better if he’s a guy that earnestly wants a job but doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. That made all the difference.”
It certainly had the proper effect on his castmates.
“After we filmed our first scene with him, Melissa and I went to the bathroom together and she said, ‘Does he have a team of writers in his pocket or something? What is going on?’ He was throwing out the most insane, hilarious stuff in the most deadpan, handsome way and it was just perfect,” says McKinnon. “Plus, he’s just a great guy. Big fan.”
Adds Wiig, “It was like we had known him for 20 years. We all fell in love with him. He does all these big action movies and dramas but to see him in this role, we were all just flipping out.”
Hemsworth will join the Ghostbusters on the big screen July 15.