Actor Chris Hemsworth has shared his intention to take a prolonged break from making films, after discovering he has a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease.
In an interview with Vanity Fair released this week, Hemsworth detailed the aftermath of discovering on an episode of his new Disney+ docuseries Limitless that his DNA contains two copies of the APOE4 gene. This makes the Avengers actor eight to 10 times more likely to develop the disorder than the average person.
As a result of the discovery, Hemsworth has announced he is taking a break from acting to spend time with his wife Elsa Pataky and their three children, India, aged 10 and twins Sasha and Tristan, 8.
On the docuseries, Hemsworth explores authentic ways humans can live better and longer, by taking on varying physical challenges. Over six episodes, Hemsworth is joined by friends who look into new research and long-held traditions to understand the limits of the human body.
"It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off," Hemsworth said in regard to discovering the news of his predisposition.
“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.”
Hemsworth also said that he isn’t quitting acting and that this discovery was a blessing for him, encouraging him to focus on his family, be more selective in the projects he does and take a more “curated approach to things”.
“If something's going to pull me away from my family and my kids, it's got to be a positive, constructive, collaborative experience,” he said.
Hemsworth chose to be transparent and candid about his preposition to Alzheimer's. Despite Disney telling him off camera about his predisposition and offering to omit scenes from the docuseries where Hemsworth discusses the diagnosis, the actor chose to keep them in and talk about his journey publicly.
“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatise it and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment. It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation,” he said.
Hemsworth has begun to manage the risk of developing the disorder by maintaining his physical and mental health.
Limitless is now available on Disney+.