‘It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation,’ says Chris Hemsworth as he talks about mortality after a health warning about Alzheimer’s disease


Chris Hemsworth is one of the most popular actors across the globe and has a tremendous fan following. The actor who plays the Marvel superhero, God of Thunder, Thor has opened up on how he learnt that he has a predisposition towards Alzheimer’s disease from both of his parents. In episode five of his documentary series Limitless With Chris Hemsworth, the actor found out that his egentic makeup includes two copies of the gene APOE4, , one from his mother, the other from his father, which studies have linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently one in four people carry a single copy of the gene, but only 2 to 3% of the population has both, as per a 2021 study conducted by National Institutes of Health.

While working on the docuseries Limitless, Chris underwent a battery of genetic tests to see what might be waiting for him in the future and found out his ‘biggest fear’. During a recent chat with a magazine the actor spoke about the results being a cause of concern as it places him in the category of a much higher risk for being impacted by the condition. He said, “My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatize 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.”

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Chris also revealed that even without the test, he knew about the genetic predisposition because Alzheimer’s runs in his family as his grandfather has been suffering from the same for years. Speaking about his grandfather he said, “I haven’t seen him in a few years, but my other family members have and there’s some days where he’s quite joyful and gives you a big hug. But my mum was saying he’s just a really friendly guy. I’m not sure he actually remembers much anymore and he slips in and out of Dutch, which is his original language, so he’ll be talking Dutch and English and then a mash-up and then maybe some other new words as well.”

Chris also spoke about how the test made him feel that his memory is getting worse and even reflected on how he reacted to the results of the test and said, “I feel like my memory’s getting worse. It’s a placebo effect — or it’s taking place! … It’s my excuse now. There was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out. Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”

He also spoke about taking it slow now and being with his wife and kids and said, “I felt like I'd been in a sprint for 10 years, and all these moments that were dream scenarios would fly by. Moments that I should have been stepping back and going, "Wow, this is incredible," I was inundated with other kinds of requests and asks and being pulled in different directions. (I was) not really kind of enjoying what was right in front of me. Doing an episode on death and facing your own mortality made me go, “Oh God, I'm not ready to go yet. I want to sit and be in this space with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude. And then you start talking about kids and family and going, “Oh my God, they're getting older, they're growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie.” Before you know it, they're 18 and they've moved out of house, and I missed the window. It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. 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.”

(Source: Vanity Fair)