Chris Hemsworth On Feminism, Raising A Daughter, & Playing The “Damsel In Distress”

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So just when we thought we had hit peak “male feminist” hysteria with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Alexander Skarsgard and of course Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along comes THOR HIMSELF to declare that underneath all that superhero muscle is actually a heart that beats to the tune of gender equality.

It turns out Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth is not just a highly valuable member of the ‘Avengers’, he is also an unashamed feminist and clearly woke bae when it comes to the fight for gender equality happening in the film industry. He is on the promotional trail for his latest film, ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ and has used the opportunity to talk about the slew of kickass females he stars alongside (Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain who apparently wanted to know “do I get to kick ass” before accepting the role), and demonstrates the type of masculinity that works best when not degrading powerful women or even the presence of women.

In an interview with the Radio Times in the UK, he talks about the origins of his feminist leanings, and why he is excited to be part of a movement in Hollywood where women are starting to push for more equality on screen.

Unlike some other celebrities who hesitate or bristle when the question about feminism comes us, Chris’s answer was “Oh yeah, for sure”, and then proceeded to explain why.

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“My mum’s a big feminist. I think that my views on things, as far as respect for women and so on, came from my mum. My dad has a very balanced and respectful view on a lot of things too. They were huge positive influences in my life,” he said.

While we knew ‘The Huntsman’ was already a film that had been part of discussions about equality, when news broke that actress Charlize Theron demanded she get he same pay check as Chris Hemsworth after the Sony Leaks in 2014 exposed the many instances where female stars were getting paid less then male stars, Chris says the badass female characters was one of the reasons he chose to do the sequel in the first place.

“The strength of it was in these three women [Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron] and their performances, the heart and soul that they’ve blended through their characters,” he said.

He also pointed out how we are slowly starting to see an uprising of women playing more interesting and complex roles on screen, and why it shouldn’t have taken this long to get here.

“I think the balance has been tipped for a long time heavily in the men’s direction. There are seven to eight male superheroes and one female in there. This is the opposite. It’s exciting to be part of something like that. But it’s a funny conversation to even have, because of course it should be that way. Of course it should be equal,” he said.

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Jessica Chastain plays his long lost wife in ‘The Huntsman’, and Chris describes her performance as a mixture of “fun and feisty” before adding this: “She’s probably the strongest one in the film, or the strongest out of the two of us.”

No, this is not Chris Hemsworth downplaying his masculinity, this is Chris Hemsworth showing the world what it looks like when masculinity is not threatened by the strong presence of the feminine. Which is why we need more male feminist allies speaking out the way he is, and we also need to see more parents raising their children with the knowledge of gender equality.

Just like his mother showed him the ropes growing up, Chris is now imparting his views onto his daughter. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, he talks about an interesting exchange with his oldest child, and why he is more aware of the need for positive female role models on screen than ever before.

He talks about this issue in relation to the character he plays in ‘The Huntsman’ saying the presence of women in positions of power, as opposed to only men, is something important.

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“It’s a very modern take on the world, it’s not the damsel in distress being rescued by the [prince], it’s me being rescued most of the film by these very powerful women. And I thought, this is something I want my daughter to see – women who are in charge of their own destiny, they’re not waiting for the prince to rescue them, they can take over the world and lead armies. I think there’s not enough of it, and there should be more,” he said.

It’s also worth pointing out another example: he plays a receptionist in the upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ all-female reboot, a role typically played by women in screen. This is intentional gender reversal could be the type of revolution we need in order to finally see complete gender equality in Hollywood films.

Chris also goes on to recount a conversation he had with his daughter about her genitals being different to that of her twin brothers. He says she was adamant she didn’t want “girl parts” and he made sure to tell her she could be and do whatever she wanted in the world, as if appeasing her unspoken fear of already feeling “less than” her siblings because of her gender.

By the way, his daughter is 4. If this is the way young girls are thinking at this age (although this was not confirmed by Chris in the interview, yet many studies show girls start to feel inferior to boys at a young age due to pervasive social gender conditioning cues) we need more dads like him who are speaking out about the need for more equality in film in order to help young girls grow up feeling like they are powerful and strong too.

Watch the full interview with Ellen below:

One Comment

  1. A very balanced view. Things are chaning.

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