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Chris Hemsworth on coping with COVID-19 in Australia » Manila Bulletin Entertainment



Los Angeles – Chris Hemsworth is enjoying the lockdown.

The 36-year-old Australian actor who is isolating with his family in his native Byron Bay, Australia is relishing time with family and being with the kids when we talked to him recently via video interview.

“I really appreciate being able to spend this much time with the kids. I have traveled so much over the last 10 years. Under normal circumstances, I would have been somewhere across the globe traveling on a press tour. So to be able to do this from home and spend more time with the family that is the positive that I am taking from it. Also, my kids have commented a lot how much more they prefer being home than being dragged away. But definitely a challenging time for everyone.”

He added, “Look, the kids are keeping us really busy, as anyone with kids can identify with that for sure. Attempting to home school, where most of that time is chewed up with negotiation to do the schoolwork. I have so much more respect for teachers, now more than ever, my mother was a teacher. And so that’s been a challenge. We are lucky we live in a small coastal town in Australia and we are not in a densely populated city. So I feel for people who are in those situations and apartments. But we are very fortunate to just have a backyard and in Australia, where we did a pretty good job of flattening the curve and minimizing risk, complying to social distancing, regulations and advice that was given. So I don’t think we ever got to a place that was as intense as many places around the world. We were still able to go outside to exercise and so on. That’s unfortunately not the case for a lot of people.”

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

Married to Spanish actress Elsa Pataky with whom he has three kids — India Rose, 7, and the twin boys Tristan and Sasha, 5 — Chris described the situation in Australia where he is right now. “There are some places here that allow us to surf. But they closed parking lots in certain areas and I know Sydney had some pretty strict closure of beaches. It’s just that it’s such a smaller population within this area, so there are beaches we can surf at. But I haven’t been surfing a great deal just because of the same cautionary feelings that you have and everyone has at the moment. And so we are distancing as much as possible and if it looks busy in the surf, maybe surfing somewhere else.”

During this isolation, did he take on anything that he always wanted to do like music maybe?

“I find that I am busier now than I ever have been for a while, although I am home in one spot, just because I don’t get that six hours a day where the kids go to school, that’s the breaks,” he disclosed. “So they wake up at six, they go to bed at say eight o’clock, and it’s nonstop that whole time and it’s fantastic. But it’s actually, I keep getting sent scripts and books and people say oh look, during your downtime, try and do this or do that. And my kids are keeping me pretty busy, (laughs) I don’t have a whole lot of downtime. There’s an added pressure with my creative skills in coming up with fun ways to entertain the kids and things to involve them in day-to-day, because they crave hanging out with their friends and so on, more so I think than adults. They don’t understand it so there is this confusion about it, but also just that interaction at the playground or the park and so on that they get so much from, is something that they are missing a lot.”

So is he also the hero in the family?

“I am fortunate enough to be married to a woman who is full of kindness and intelligence, who provide a loving, supporting family for her kids and climate where they develop into kind, empathetic individuals,” he answered. “It’s about giving them a loving environment where they feel comfortable to be themselves, but also be aware of their effect within a community and within the world and what they can do to make the world a better place. Kindness is also something that we press upon them or try to, rather than pressing, just lead by example. And I believe that they are developing into those wonderful kids.”

And has he had any “Aha!” moments during these times?

“I am having a lot of aha moments at the moment, realizing that how much time I spent in the future, plodding and planning and now going wow, all that could be taken away in a second and I had been living in a fantasy like a lot of us have been really,” he pointed out. “I realized that I just need tobe right here, right now and take it day-by-day and not have too much expectation on what is to come and just appreciate every moment and stay positive.”

(Chris plays Tyler Rake, a former SASR operator turned black ups mercenary in the thriller “Extraction” helmed by Sam Hargrave)

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