Chris Hemsworth Opens Up About Learning of Genetic Predisposition for Alzheimer’s, Taking Time Off

Following a revelation that he has a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s, actor Chris Hemsworth said he plans to take “a good chunk of time off.”

Chris Hemsworth attends National Geographic's "Limitless" Screening And Conversation

Image via Getty/Theo Wargo

Chris Hemsworth attends National Geographic's "Limitless" Screening And Conversation

Following a revelation that he potentially has a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s, actor Chris Hemsworth has said that he plans to take a bit of time off.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actor behind Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe said his genetic makeup features two copies of the APOE4 gene. Studies have linked that to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and during production of his docuseries Limitless with Chris Hemsworth he underwent tests that revealed he had two copies of the gene, one from his mother and from his father.

The 39-year-old made it clear that it doesn’t mean for certain that he will face an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but it has made him reconsider his nonstop filming schedule over the past decade. “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,” he said of the discovery, which comes in the fifth episode of the TV show. “It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.”

When he was working on the episode, doctor Peter Attia called show creator Darren Aronofsky to explain that he didn’t want to reveal the predisposition to Hemsworth on camera. “It was pretty shocking because he called me up and he told me,” Hemsworth added. “It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. 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. Be with the kids, be with my wife.”

In the interview, Chris Hemsworth explained that his grandfather has Alzheimer’s, so it wasn’t a complete shock to him. Disney discussed whether he would want the scene to be included in the show, and ultimately he felt it could provide “a motivator for people to take better care of themselves.” Hemsworth currently has two forthcoming movies lined up, Extraction 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa.

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