Hemsworth is in Bali promoting the upcoming sci-fi action movie, Men in Black International, while Pataky is at their Byron Bay home with their three kids.
“The challenge is always trying to find the balance of working and being with family,” he says. “I think that goes for anyone in this type of business that moves this much and travels this much.”
As for the day-to-day challenges, he notes, “I can be pretty damn stubborn, so can she, which is probably where we tend to butt heads occasionally. But we’ve done pretty well to still be trucking along quite nicely, all things considered. We both have strong opinions and also both have a great amount of enthusiasm for what we believe in.”
Hemsworth is in a good spirits and in familiar territory. “We got married here in Bali at a little island called Sumba in a place called Nihiwatu, which is a little eco resort thing, it’s great,” he smiles.
“What annoys her about me?” he chuckles, repeating the question aloud. “Probably if I surf a little long or stay out a little late from time to time. But that’s usually because of traffic!” he laughs.
And vice versa — What annoys him about her?
“Well, if she’s reading this, ‘nothing annoys me about her!’” He leans forward. “I gotta make sure there is a place for me in the bed when I get back home.”
Speaking of which, the renovations on their $7 million Balinese-inspired property, purchased in 2014 on Broken Head, overlooking Seven Mile Beach, is nearing completion. Renovations began in 2016 at an estimated cost of $9 million, and the final result could be a property worth around $23 million.
“Yeah, we’ve been building a house for a while now and that’s always fun, isn’t it?” he laughs. “Yeah, I think the vast majority of divorces happen during the process of building a house, so I’m thankful we’ve survived that. It’s been interesting deciding on tap ware, couches and things that I never thought I’d even be bothered about.”
What about the usual things that can drive a woman crazy? Does he try to man the TV remote? Forget to put the toilet seat down?
“No, no. I’m incredibly mindful of all that stuff. What would annoy her? I’m perfect, nothing,” he jokes. “But I can’t wait for you to ask her that question. She’ll give you a long list of things!”
Given the nature of Men in Black Internation al, naturally, the conversation moves to the subject of aliens. In a playful mood, Hemsworth says, “My brothers kind of fit into that (alien) category. As well as my kids, occasionally, and myself. I’ve been asked a lot about my belief in aliens. The optimistic part of me would like to say, ‘Yes, I do’, just because it’s exciting to think there’s something else out there. Actually, I might be one myself. But, hopefully, we’ll keep that a secret.”
As an A-list Hollywood star, Hemsworth has encountered myriad experiences with fans. “I’ve had some fan mail sent to me, some of which has been … interesting. I got sent a shirt, which was nice. But it had been worn before!” he laughs. “It had a real body odour to that shirt which I washed and now I’m wearing it as you can see, perfectly fitted,” he jokes, patting down his form-fitting white shirt.
“I’ve been pretty lucky. Most fans have been pretty positive. But I did get sent a shirt, and, yes, it had been worn. That’s true.”
The Men in Black franchise, previously starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, is about secret agents protecting the earth from aliens. The popular series raked in $US1.6 billion over three films. Considering the title, Men in Black International, the fourth instalment featuring Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson presents a very different look.
“Yeah, we had a fair amount of fun with the title. I think the casting in itself gives a good nod to that, and we have a few jokes about it. There’s a line where Tessa says to Emma Thompson (who reprises her role from MIB 3 as Agent O) ‘What about the name?’ And Thompson says, ‘Yeah, we’re working on that’.
“Well, for me, that was another reason for jumping on board. It was unique and different from what had been done before and offers an awareness and a nod to the need for change, and the change that is (evidently) occurring.”
This marks the third time Hemsworth has worked with Thompson. She played Valkyrie to his Thor in Thor: Ragnarok, as well as in the recent blockbuster, Avengers: Endgame.
“I don’t think Thor would’ve been the character he was in Ragnarok without that relationship. To be able to pick up where we left off and launch into that chemistry we’d built previously was fantastic. It meant we didn’t have to spend much of the shooting experience getting to know each other.”
Much has been made of the Thor fat suit in the Avengers movie. “What fat suit?” Hemsworth chuckles. “That was just eating at the local pub: chicken parmigiana, chips, and meat pie.”
On a more sombre note, the recent death of Austrian Formula One driver, Niki Lauda, deeply saddened Hemsworth. In 2013, Hemsworth played British playboy racing driver James Hunt opposite Daniel Bruhl, who portrayed Lauda, in the critically acclaimed biographical sports film Rush, which centred on their competitive relationship in the ’70s.
“Shooting that film was one the most memorable and most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had. I had done Thor, and then all of a sudden the opportunity to do something so different came along. I’d spent a number of days with Niki on the set, as well as off set after the film. He was the person I’ve been most intimidated by.”
Men In Black: International hits cinemas on June 6.