This is the classic origin story for all actors, isn’t it? They had to come from somewhere, and most of them had to have first jobs. Margot Robbie worked at Subway as a sandwich artist, Brad Pitt wore the chicken costume to advertise El Pollo Loco, and Chris Hemsworth, apparently, cleaned breast pump machines. Luckily for him. And for us. Because blissing out while scouring those devices gave him the space to think about his future (one presumably in which he’d no longer be cleaning breast pump machines).
He told the tale as part of WIRED‘s Web’s Most Searched Questions interview.
“I used to fix and repair and clean breast pumps and milk extractors,” the man who plays Thor said. “Yup, you didn’t mishear that. That was my job. And this company used to rent them out to various pharmacies and chemists, and they would come back, and they wouldn’t work sometimes. They needed to be cleaned. I’d clean them and repair them. I just remember being really bored. I remember sitting in a factory after work, and thinking ‘I’m gonna earn my ten bucks here’ or whatever. I’d make playlists to try to get me through it. Music that would sort of keep me in a calm state and not want to launch that machine against the wall. Van Morrison. The Beatles. Pink Floyd. A lot of music my parents listened to. And I used to kind of think about what I wanted to do, which was act, and all the other exciting things I wanted to journey into. So it was good. Boredom is kind of a good space to do some solid thinking, and I did plenty of that.”
So maybe it wasn’t the act itself that made him catch the acting bug, but it certainly gave him the space to contemplate and the introspection required to be great. That maturity didn’t come quite fast enough, though, because he also revealed in the interview that he originally failed his Thor audition, and it wasn’t until his younger brother Liam almost got the part but was “too young,” that a more-confident Hemsworth was able to secure the role that made him a massive star. Those breast pump machine daydreams definitely paid off.