Chris Hemsworth is hanging up his coat for a while after discovering he has a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.
On the Disney+ documentary series Limitless, the Thor actor has been investigating ways to live a healthier, smarter and longer life. In the series' fifth episode, the 39-year-old Australian actor learned he has two copies of the gene APOE4, inherited from both of his parents.
The 2 to 3% of the population who possess two copies of the gene are up to 10 times more likely to develop the disease than those without both copies of the gene.
Discussing the results with Vanity Fair, Hemsworth shared how they put his life and career in a new perspective.
“It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation,” Hemsworth said, adding that everything he’s learned about the human body and life over the course of Limitless “really triggered something in me to want to take some time off."
The double copy of APOE4 is not a determinant of Alzheimers, but it was important for Hemsworth to include it in the show. The actor was supposed to receive results live, on camera, but series creator Darren Aronofsky spoke with him privately upon receiving the results of his genetic test, giving him the option to delete all references to Alzheimer’s previously mentioned in the show. Hemsworth decided to include his test results to help viewers take “preventative steps” and gain a better understanding of the disease.
“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and over dramatize it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy, or whatever, for entertainmen.,” Hemsworth said.
The news caused pause in Hemsworth, who will be taking more time to spend with his wife, Elsa Pataky, and their three children. In his extended family, his grandfather is currently being treated for Alzheimer's.
“I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife.”
Having wrapped his role in the upcoming film Mad Max: Furiosa, Hemsworth will return to his home in Byron Bay after finishing the publicity tour for Limitless.
Photo courtesy of Carl Timpone/BFA
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