Chris Hemsworth Trades Hammer for Keyboard in ‘Blackhat’

Front Row Features

HOLLYWOOD—Chris Hemsworth, who plays the heroic thunder god Thor in the “Avengers” movie franchise, says he considers cyber security experts to be the superheroes of the real world.

“They’re highly intelligent and have this advanced-type knowledge,” the Aussie actor explains.

Hemsworth, 31, became acquainted with some of these so-called whitehat computer-programming experts when he was preparing for his role in the new cyber crime drama “Blackhat.” In it, he plays an imprisoned computer hacker, who is called upon by the government to track down a cyberterrorist who already has hacked into a Chinese nuclear plant’s computer system and is threatening to wreck more havoc.

Hemsworth’s Nick Hathaway is joined by a team of programmers and law enforcement types (played by Viola Davis, Tang Wei and Wang Leehom) that have to use their advanced cyber-sleuthing skills to track down the mysterious hacker, even if it means bending the rules. The result is a cat-and-mouse chase through four countries and find him before time runs out.

Directed by Michael Mann from a script by Morgan Davis Foehl, the action thriller couldn’t be more timely in light of the recent Sony Pictures hack attack and other hacking incidents making international headlines.

“Chris’ enthusiasm for the kind of immersive immersion into the character that took him to Statesville Prison (in Illinois), and the blast furnaces at U.S. Steel one morning, and his willingness to kind of lose himself in the moment,” observes the noted director of classic crime thrillers like “Heat” and “The Insider.”

Hemsworth, who reprises his Thor character later this year in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” spoke about why he was attracted to the antihero role in “Blackhat” and what he learned about the growing threat cyber crime.

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