"Thor is large," he says of playing the Marvel Comics superhero, a role he reprises in this fall's Thor: The Dark World, later this year. "For that I had to add some muscle, which hasn't been all that hard so far. I like training just fine, thanks."
"But to play a Formula One driver, I had to drop quite a bit of that. You know, slim it down," he continues, referring to his role as race car driver James Hunt in upcoming flick Rush. "First time I looked at a Formula One car in person, I just stared at the cockpit, figuring I'd never get in there. The drivers wear the whole car like a tight-fitting suit. So I just started training differently, shedding all that Thor. I've come to see size as just a kind of prop."
The 29-year-old actor, who has played a wide variety of roles, including an American jock in Cabin in the Woods and a curmudgeonly hunter in Snow White and the Huntsman, adds that being out of his element has become his go-to mantra.
"The challenge in the first installment was this fish-out-of-water quality, this naivete about everything that makes up earth," he says of playing Thor. "That was a familiar dynamic to me. A Crocodile Dundee thing, really."
Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky have most recently been spending time in London, where the actor was filming both Rush and the Thor sequel. Pataky, a Spanish actress who appeared in Fast & Furious 6, previously told Us Weekly that the couple and their 13-month-old daughter India feel most at home whenever they are together -- or by the water.
"She loves being at the beach," Pataky, 36, told Us earlier this year of India. "And she loves little dogs and all animals. I like having her around nature."