She very nearly steals his thunder in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and actor Chris Hemsworth has admitted that Jessica Chastain’s feisty and extremely capable character Sara, complete with leather costume and heels, was a force to be reckoned with.
Chastain plays Sara, warrior companion and love of Hemsworth’s Eric since they were children. Driven apart by evil ice-queen Freya (Emily Blunt), the pair must endure and conquer all sorts of obstacles in order to reunite.
“Jessica is fantastic and she was top of the list of who we wanted to play the role of Sara,” he says.
“I saw her at the Golden Globes and asked her if she got the script, and she said ‘do I get to kick ass?’ and she does. She kicks my ass in the film.
“I’ll take my hat off to her because she had to do it in high heels, plus, she looks better than me in heels.”
Acknowledging the fact that Chastain’s character frequently proves herself as as tough, if not tougher than his Eric the Huntsman, Hemsworth continues: “She’s tough. She got the hang of things pretty quickly when it came to fighting scenes.”
Chastain’s Sara is just one of a stellar line-up of strong female leads, which also includes Charlize Theron’s return as Queen Ravenna and Emily Blunt as Freya. The Ice Queen. There are also impressively feisty performances from Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach as cunning dwarves Mrs. Bronwyn and Doreena.
For Hemsworth, the overwhelming presence of females didn’t go unnoticed.
“I can deal with brothers and this was just like having a lot of sisters around,” Hemsworth offers.
“It was fascinating to watch all of the girls. The women in this film are all a force to be reckoned with.”
“When we talked about doing the spin-off of the first one, my focus was that it be lighter in tone and that we up the adventure and I think it helps ground the fantastical element of it all.”
Hemsworth’s Eric has a Scottish accent, and the actor worked with a dialect coach to master it.
“The Scottish accent just has such a fun, musical element to it,” he says.
“You just have to become kind of obsessive about it, it doesn’t always work but you just have to keep hammering away at it. I had a lot of tapes I would listen to and a great dialect coach.”
32-year-old Hemsworth, who started out in Australian soap Home and Away before making a move to Hollywood and landing blockbuster roles including Thor, has recently moved his family back Down Under.
The actor previously admitted that he found LA “suffocating and self absorbed” and decided to get out.
“Once the kids arrived, I was like, ‘Wow, this is what life is about.'” Hemsworth says of his decision to move home with his wife Elsa Pataky and their three young children.
Now when he isn’t working on a film, Hemsworth loves nothing more that seeing his children and spending time with them, admitting all he wants at the end of the day is: “for my kids to come give me a hug and tell me they love me.”
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is out Monday.
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1