Actor Chris Hemsworth, best known for playing Thor in the MCU, has announced he is taking a break from acting after learning that he is genetically pre-disposed to develop Alzheimer’s.
In a recent episode of his National Geographic TV series Limitless on Disney+–as reported by IGN–Hemsworth said, “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication.”
It was claimed that Hemsworth’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s is 8-10 times higher than the average person in the general population due to his genetic makeup. “The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life I’ve experienced or my wife, my kids; this is probably my biggest fear,” Hemsworth said.
You can watch Hemsworth talk more about this in a recent interview with Good Morning America.
Hemsworth isn’t retiring forever, however, saying he is open to coming back to play Thor again someday if that works out. After discovering his pre-disposition to Alzheimer’s, Hemsworth said he plans to return home to Australia and spend time with his family.
“It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation. It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do. 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,” he said.
The Limitless TV series sees Hemsworth test the limits of his body. After discovering his genetic pre-disposition to Alzheimer’s, Disney is said to have offered to cut this out of the show, but Hemsworth said it needed to stay in to help educate people.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Hemsworth is set to appear in the upcoming movies Furiosa and Extraction 2. His brother Liam, meanwhile, is taking over for Henry Cavill as Geralt in Netflix’s Witcher TV show.