Chris Hemsworth told Vanity Fair that he is planning to take a good chunk of time off work once his press tour for the Disney+ series “Limitless” wraps. In the fifth episode of the series, Hemsworth meets with a doctor and it’s revealed that the “Thor” actor has a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease. As Vanity Fair reports: “His makeup includes two copies of the gene APOE4, one from his mother, the other from his father, which studies have linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Although Hemsworth said “it’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation,” the actor is now eight to 10 times more likely to develop the disease. Hemsworth’s grandfather is currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’m not sure he actually remembers much anymore and he slips in and out of Dutch, which is his original language,” Hemsworth said. “He’ll be talking [in] Dutch and English and then a mash-up and then maybe some other new words as well.”
As for his own predisposition diagnosis, Hemsworth said, “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.”
Shooting “Limitless” not only made Hemsworth discover his genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s, but it also led to the actor meeting with death doulas for the series final episode and confronting the end of his life. Hemsworth said all of these experiences inspired him to take time off from acting.
“It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off,” Hemsworth said. “And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do.”
“Now when I finish this tour this week, I’m going home and I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify,” he added. “Be with the kids, be with my wife.”
Hemsworth has already completed production on movies such as Netflix’s “Extraction 2” and George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel “Furiosa.” The actor said that Disney offered him a version of “Limitless” that cut out the diagnosis, but he was adamant about leaving it in.
“Look, if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take—then fantastic,” Hemsworth said. “My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatize it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment.”
“Limitless” is now streaming on Disney+.
Chris Hemsworth ‘Taking Time Off,’ Discovered Genetic Predisposition for Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘I’m Going to Just Simplify’