Chris Hemsworth set out on a challenging and personal journey to create his series, “Limitless.” It ultimately led him to an unexpected realization.
The 39-year-old actor from “Thor” learns in one episode of the Disney+/National Geographic series – which features him exploring ways to increase his longevity and combat aging – that he has two copies (one from each of his parents) of the APOE4 gene. This means that he is more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Hemsworth told Vanity Fair that they took all my bloodwork, did a lot of tests and that the plan was to then discuss how you can improve these and other results. Peter Attia is the longevity doctor and oversees a lot of the show. He called Darren [Aronofsky] to discuss the results and said that he didn’t want to hear it. He called me and said that he wanted this in the show.
Hemsworth stated that he had “a lot of questions” upon hearing the news and later added that he didn’t know what to think. I was confused and worried. “Is this worrying?
He said that the show “became more relevant and important to me”, adding that APOE4 “is not a pre-deterministic genetic material, but it’s a strong indicator.” It was considered a determinant ten years ago.
Hemsworth stated that he is “eight to ten times more likely” than others to develop Alzheimer’s. This information caused him to reflect upon death and his mortality.
It was intense to navigate it. He told Vanity Fair that most of us avoid talking about death in the
hopes that we can somehow avoid it. “We all believe that we will figure it out. The reality is that many indicators point to this route as the way to go.
“Limitless,” which features the Marvel star engaging with various stunts to prolong his life and improve it, actually deals with the death of the last episode.
“It’s my favorite episode. He shared that he worked with palliative care workers and death doulas and spoke to many people at the end of their lives or who were nearing the end.
He later said, “Doing an episode about death and facing your mortality made me go, “Oh God, it’s not time to go yet.” I want to be able to just sit in this space and feel more gratitude and stillness. Then you start to talk about your children and family, going, “Oh my god, they are getting older, growing up, and I keep slapping on another movie after another.” Before you know it they’re 18 years old and have moved out of the house.
Hemsworth mentioned in preparation for the show that he was offered a version of the episode that didn’t discuss his “discovered genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s” but that the possibility of helping others helped him get past any hesitations.
“I thought, “No, look, this is a motivator to people to take better care and understand that there are steps they can take – then fantastic.”
Hemsworth was most recently seen as the MCU’s God Of Thunder in his fourth solo appearance in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Hemsworth will next appear in “Extraction 2” next year. He also has a role in “Furiosa,” a sequel that will be starring Anya Taylor Joy. It is set in the world of “Mad Max.”