Belfast Telegraph

Chris Hemsworth: Matt Damon warned me against 'dangerous' weight-loss diet

Chris Hemsworth arriving for the European premiere of In The Heart Of The Sea in Leicester Square, London
Chris Hemsworth arriving for the European premiere of In The Heart Of The Sea in Leicester Square, London

Matt Damon implored Chris Hemsworth not to follow his "dangerous" starvation diet when the actor turned to him for weight-loss advice for his role in new movie In The Heart Of The Sea.

Hemsworth, known for his muscular role as superhero Thor, slimmed down dramatically to play a shipwrecked sailor but was warned off the diet that Damon used to lose 50lbs for his 1996 film Courage Under Fire which left him taking medication for a year for adrenal gland damage.

He said Damon told him, " Look, I had no education then. It was basically eat nothing for four months".

He continued: "He said it's dangerous to do it that way. He said there's much better ways of doing it so seek the advice of a nutritionist."

Hemsworth plays First Mate Owen Chase in the tale of the real-life Nantucket whaling ship The Essex which was destroyed by a whale in 1820 and left its crew to survive for 90 days at sea and was the inspiration for Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick.

Alongside co-stars Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland and Benjamin Walker, the cast were put on a diet that saw their calories cut to as low as 500 a day to drop more than 30lbs each.

"It was us against the world kind of thing," he said of the cast's bonding experience.

In addition to the weight loss, he described the filming conditions to replicate life aboard the ship as "brutal and raw".

" We were wet 90% of the time and exhausted. Really cold when we shot in London and really hot when we shot in the Canary Islands and then you're just in rags most of the time," he said.

But his wife, model Elsa Pataky, was the most glad when the diet came to an end.

"I think she prefers me putting on the weight - doesn't have to put up with the mood swings. We didn't snap at one another on set but you're highly sensitive to the most trivial things. My wife, meanwhile, is like, 'Oh, just shut up and eat something'."

Famed director Ron Howard agreed to take on the film at Hemsworth's suggestion following their collaboration on the Formula One biopic Rush.

"We were looking for a director and I'd had such a great time on Rush, I immediately said, 'If you're not sick of me, we can maybe do it again'. He had the same sort of passion and excitement for it and it happened really quickly after that," he said.

Hemsworth said of Howard as his director that he "hadn't felt that kind of trust before", which might explain why he has now taken it upon himself to act as agent for the man behind Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code.

"I'd like to work with him again. Everything that gets sent to me that doesn't have a director, I'm like, 'What about Ron?'" he said jokingly.

In The Heart Of The Sea is released nationwide on December 26.


From Belfast Telegraph