Chris Hemsworth took over the title of Best Chris in this year’s Pajiba 10, and to be honest, it wasn’t even that close. Hemsworth placed sixth overall, while Evans landed at number 12, Pine at 19, and Pratt — as it should be — barely made a dent in the voting.
A year ago, I might have found this shift unsettling. Hemsworth? He was fine in the first two Thor films, but he was a nice smile and huge muscles and little else, barely rising above a Worthington in other projects like Rush and Snow White and the Huntsman. Even in Ghostbusters, where he was funny, it almost felt like that was qualified: He was funny for a hot guy.
But Ghostbusters is where the tide also began to shift, and in Ragnarok — where he brought both humor and heart to go along with his pec muscles — he became a real contender.
For me, however, and for I suspect many of our readers who put him over the top, it was the personal dynamics that was decisive. Yes, Evans is still the most outspoken politically:
It’s ‘counsel’, Biff. The word is ‘counsel’.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 20, 2018
I was trying to comprehend how in the world a man, even as moronic as you, can misspell a word he probably reads fifty times a day. But then it dawned on me, you probably only HEAR the word.
You don’t read shit.
And we all know it. https://t.co/7zZGZRZtkF
And his enthusiasm for his dog is very becoming:
This is Dodger’s stuffed lion. He loves it. He brings it everywhere. If you press it’s paw, it sings. Today, Dodger decided to join in. pic.twitter.com/CuH53VNVtF— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 7, 2017
But this year, Hemsworth put a personality to those abs, and what we found out is that this guy is an amazing father:
Today is world oceans day! My happiest memories have been spent in and around the ocean. When I was a kid surfing with my brothers and my dad and now being able to do it with my kids is the greatest thing I could’ve ever hoped for. Unfortunately, we are on a fast track to destroying our oceans and in turn destroying ourselves, every second breath we take is generated from the oceans and without them we die. Everyone needs to play a part. You can make a difference today - and every day - by doing simple things like removing single use plastics, carrying your own water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bags, recycling the plastic you buy, avoiding products that contain microplastics and volunteering for a local clean-up #worldoceansday #loveouroceans @oceana @parley.tv
He’s also a terrific husband:
This Instagram video, however, single-handedly pushed him over the top for me. In fact, when I told my wife that Hemsworth had taken the top spot, she was in disbelief (she’s an Evans purist), but then I showed her this, and she was like, “Oh. I get it.”
In a profile today in GQ, which examines Hemsworth through the “post-hunk” lens, this little anecdote seals the deal. It concerns a “Dad’s race” at his six-year-old daughter’s school, where he was dressed in jeans and boots. Earlier in the day, he had told his daughter during the egg-and-spoon race that “it’s not about winning.” But …
That advice was trash, he realized. Life is about winning, and he must. For his daughter’s sake. At the line, Hemsworth’s heart was pounding. He got a bad start, pulled it together—his Thor muscles snapping to attention. The finish drew nearer until, suddenly, he was the champion.
“There was just this wave of nirvana,” Hemsworth recalls. “I turn around, and I go, ‘Where’s my daughter? Where is she?’ And she’s like, ‘Dad, did you win?’ And I’m like, ‘Did I win? You didn’t see it?!’ They gave me a sticker. A first-place sticker.”
Hemsworth called his wife, the actress Elsa Pataky. Like her daughter, Pataky missed the race. She had been shooting that day, but she heard all about the Running of the Dads—repeatedly. “I’ve never seen him so excited, not even about getting a big job,” Pataky says with a laugh. “It was probably one of the best things that has happened to him in his life, which is funny, right? All the things he has achieved.”
The next day, Hemsworth had to hop a plane and fly to London to shoot his next film. He’d been home in Byron Bay, Australia, for a few months, and his daughter was distraught that he was leaving. “She’s normally like, ‘Yeah, see you, Daddy. Cool.’ She was like, ‘Papa! Papa! Papa!’ She doesn’t always call me Papa, either.” Hemsworth found the shirt he had been wearing the day before, with the first-place sticker still stuck on it, and offered it to her. “I wasn’t, like, sobbing, but…” But it shattered him.
That is Chris Hemsworth in a nutshell:
An actor treasuring his family isn’t especially unusual. But a globally famous star who is as earnest about those feelings in public as he is in private, well, that’s not the sort of action star that Hollywood has traditionally produced. Hemsworth’s openness and warmth when he talks about his family is not lost on fans—particularly female fans, who don’t often hear famous men speaking candidly about the difficulties of juggling a demanding career with child-rearing. “Obviously women are asked all the time, ‘How do you balance it?’ Men are never asked that,” Tessa Thompson, his co-star in the most recent Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, and in the forthcoming Men in Black film, tells me. Hemsworth’s frankness about his fatherly priorities is endearing, she says, because it’s effortless. “It’s so lovable, because it’s really honest.”
Shit-talking the President, as Evans does, is thrilling. Avoiding social media, driving an old truck, and using a flip phone, as in the case of Pine, is also cool for the way it sets him apart in the Facebook era.
But loving your kids honestly and earnestly? Being a great dad! That is next-level.
Header Image Source: Getty