Chris Hemsworth is taking a break from acting after learning in the docuseries “Limitless” that he is more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease due to genetic factors.
After his press tour for “Limitless” concludes, the Marvel star told Vanity Fair that he would not take on any new projects for a while. Hemsworth decided after learning while filming the Disney+ series that he has a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s and is eight to ten times more likely to develop the disease.
“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.”
The “Thor” actor also spoke out about his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He said he wasn’t sure if his grandfather “remembers much anymore” and that his grandfather “slips in and out of Dutch, which is his native language.”
In terms of his own predisposition, the “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene,” said the “Avengers” actor, “but it’s a strong indication. I believe it was regarded as determinant ten years ago.”
“Limitless” is a new aging documentary series that delves into topics such as repairing damage, increasing strength, building resilience, shocking the body, supercharging memory, and confronting mortality to “live better for longer.”
During the filming of the series, Hemsworth underwent genetic testing, which revealed that he carries two copies of the gene APOE4 — one from each parent — which has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in studies.
The Hollywood star admitted that he has grown accustomed to those close to him making jokes about his diagnosis.
Hemsworth told Vanity Fair:
“It was confronting initially, but very quickly it became a self-deprecating sort of joke, if you will. It’s just the way I am, my family, there’s a sense of humor. And such is life, so …,”
The test results, as well as his experience on the show meeting death doulas and confronting the end of his life, convinced him to live a healthier lifestyle.
“When you have a predisposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything — it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”
Hemsworth told the magazine that Disney offered him a version of “Limitless” without his diagnosis, but he refused.
“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. 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. It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.”
Hemsworth has already completed filming on his Netflix film “Extraction 2” as well as George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel “Furiosa.”
“Limitless” is available on Disney+.