Action star Chris Hemsworth just discovered he had a hereditary predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, and as a result, he has opened up about how he wants to be remembered when he is dead and gone.
Apparently, cancer recently claimed the life of the actor’s 93-year-old grandfather Martin, which made him start to consider his own mortality.
Hemsworth explained in an interview with British GQ that he began thinking about his legacy after hearing people at Martin’s funeral speak highly of him.
“My uncle specifically said, ‘He’s remembered as a good bloke’,” Hemsworth recalled. “And if he knew, or if someone told him that’s how he would be remembered, how incredibly proud he would feel.
“It made me think about my own life. And it wasn’t about career or anything. It was about being remembered as someone who was good and kind and contributed something of value.”
He added that he was less concerned about fans remembering him for his movie roles.
“Everything has more importance now, because of the realisation that this isn’t going to last forever,” he said. Hemsworth continued by saying that going forward, he only wanted to work on movies that were “worthy of his time” and that he didn’t want to leave a “pile of rubbish” in the form of professional credentials.
Hemsworth made the decision to spend time with his wife Elsa Pataky, 46, and his three children—India, 10, and twin boys, Tristan and Sasha, 9—after learning about his propensity for Alzheimer’s disease.
In the GQ interview, he jokingly referred to himself as being an “unemployed actor”, as he hadn’t taken on a film project in seven months.
While filming Limitless, a documentary series for Disney+ in which he put his body through a number of endurance tests, the actor discovered he had Alzheimer’s disease. He had to have blood tests done for the program, and as a result, he learned that his risk of developing Alzheimer’s was “eight or 10 times” higher than the general population’s.
“All of a sudden, there’s a lot of questions that I probably haven’t answered … I’ve been conveniently distracted and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, let’s look a little deeper’,” he told GQ.
“Nothing overly dramatic … Who am I? What am I doing? What’s my contribution? Is what I’m doing of value?”
All he wanted, he said, was to remembered like his grandfather was – as a good man.
“I hope that people think of me fondly and that I was a good person,” he said.
“That I was a good bloke. Like my grandpa.”