Chris Hemsworth Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Thor, It Was A DC Actor

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

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In 2011, Chris Hemsworth was cast as Thor in the MCU and went on to star in eight Marvel movies and counting. And while the Australian actor has developed the Norse god to be one of the best parts of the MCU, the part was initially meant to go to another actor, one who was already known for a comic book role. Alan Ritchson had played Aquaman in the DC television series Smallville, and he was told that the part of Thor in the MCU would have been his if he hadn’t messed up the audition.

Alan Ritchson As Thor?

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If you hold up a picture of Chris Hemsworth and Alan Ritchson side by side, you’ll see that both actors have some striking visual similarities.

Both Hemsworth and Ritchson have tall, imposing figures and share square jawlines and strong facial features, which give them a rugged and masculine look.

Both actors have portrayed physically demanding roles that require them to maintain impressive levels of fitness and athleticism. They share piercing blue eyes and blond hair which add to the overall appeal casting directors look for in leading men since Brad Pitt set that standard back in the 90s.

Thor On Looks Alone?

In short, they both fit the look of Thor, and that’s why Alan Ritchson lost out on the part. While looking back on his audition, the actor recalled thinking that “nobody really cares about acting,” and he assumed he’d book the gig based on his looks alone.

The problem with that thought process is that, while Ritchson had the rugged good looks casting directors adore, so did a thousand other guys in Hollywood, including a relatively unknown actor at the time, Chris Hemsworth.

Didn’t Take It Seriously

Alan Ritchson

Alan Ritchson recalled how he didn’t take the audition seriously and his arrogance turned out to be a hard lesson to learn.

After his audition, the casting team told Ritchson’s agent that they’d wanted him for the part, but he didn’t show that he had “the craft.” In other words, his lack of professionalism had lost him the role to Chris Hemsworth.

Chris Hemsworth As Thor

chris hemsworth

Thor ended up being Chris Hemsworth’s big break. Not only did the actor end up making millions from Marvel, but he quickly became a household name, and doors opened everywhere for him to participate in big blockbuster movies including Snow White and the Huntsman, Ghostbusters, and Men in Black: International.

Meanwhile, Alan Ritchson was forced to carry on as a lesser-known actor, booking smaller roles in lower-profile projects.

Alan Ritchson Hired An Acting Coach

Alan Ritchson

But losing Thor to Chris Hemsworth ended up being the catalyst Alan Ritchson needed to take his career seriously.

Ritchson went back to the basics and hired an acting coach. He practiced scenes for three straight weeks before joining an exclusive acting class with Deborah Aquila, the now executive vice president of casting at Paramount Television Studios and CBS Studios.

Even as he practiced honing his craft, it would take another 10 years before Alan Ritchson would get his big break. While Chris Hemsworth was making Marvel movies left and right, Ritchson continuously suffered near misses where he’d almost get cast in big movies and then the role would be passed on to a younger actor. 

See Alan Ritchson In Reacher

Alan Ritchson

Despite being told he’d never break out past 30, Alan Ritchson continued auditioning, and in 2021, he was finally cast in his big break: Reacher an action series on Amazon Prime that became the most streamed series in February 2022.

Now, at the age of 41, the actor is finally seeing the success Chris Hemsworth won years before. With more seasons of Reacher in the works and a handful of other big projects on the horizon, Ritchson has finally proven that success can come at any age.

Source: Men’s Health

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