Chris Hemsworth, better known as Thor to the wider public, is taking a hiatus from performing due to Alzheimer’s disease.
He discovered two copies of the gene APOE4, one from each of his parents, after undergoing extensive testing for his new Disney+ reality series Limitless.
His grandfather was also diagnosed with the illness.
According to a National Institute on Aging report, APOE4 is the “strongest risk factor gene for Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do,” he said. “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.”
Chris now wants to spends as much time as possible with his wife and kids. He realized how much time he’s wasting on his work as opposed to spending time with his family, and wants to change his routine.
“Doing an episode on death and facing your own mortality made me go, ‘Oh God, I’m not ready to go yet,’” he said.
“Then you start talking about kids and family and going, ‘Oh my God, they’re getting older, they’re growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie.’ Before you know it, they’re 18 and they’ve moved out of house, and I missed the window.”
Hemsworth’s doctor informs him in the episode that the gene he possesses increases his risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 8–10 times. But the actor didn’t want to emphasize that or give the impression that he had a diagnosis. “I was offered a version of the episode where we didn’t talk about it,” he revealed.
“I thought, ‘No, 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.”
He is taking a sabbatical from acting, but it is not certain that he won’t make a comeback on the big screen. Fantastic films like the Extraction 2 and the Furiosa prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road are now in production.
As Hemsworth himself said, “It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.” He’s using this time to reflect on the things that matters to him most. “You don’t know when your time’s up, you don’t know what tomorrow holds,” he said.
He added, “Whether or not any of this information helps you live longer, it’s about living better right now. Whatever you do right now to benefit your future self is having a huge benefit in your current self.”
We wish this incredible actor long lasting, Alzhemeir’s-free life!
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