Why is Chris Hemsworth taking a break from acting? What actor said about Alzheimer’s disease - and family link

The Thor actor embarks on a mission to discover how to live better for longer in new series Limitless With Chris Hemsworth

Actor Chris Hemsworth has announced he’s taking a break from acting after discovering he is genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s disease. But what has the Thor star said about his health and his break from acting? Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Chris Hemsworth taking a break from acting?

A recent episode of Hemsworth’s show Limitless revealed that the actor is genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

He told Vanity Fair: “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.” This means his genetic makeup includes two copies of the APOE4 gene - one from his mother and another from his father - a combination which reportedly leads to an increased Alzheimer’s risk.

The Marvel star will be taking a break from acting for a short while. He said: “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.”

What is Limitless?

The Thor actor, 39, embarks on a mission to discover how to live better for longer in new series Limitless With Chris Hemsworth.

During the series, Hemsworth undertakes various extraordinary journeys and extreme challenges in an attempt to understand the limits of the human body. The episodes see him meet with a death doula, walk out on a platform from the top of a skyscraper and face the most stressful test for New South Wales Fire and Rescue academy recruits.

Speaking about what he learnt about himself during the creation of the new National Geographic show launching on Disney+, Hemsworth said: “This is a dream scenario for me, the freedom, the creative choices I’m able to have and make the films I’m able to make, and travel and so on is a dream. And what got me there was a real urgency and a very front-footed, attack-mode approach to things.

“And then it’s about finding the balance now, of going, you’ve arrived at so many places that were distant dreams and now am I going to appreciate these moments or am I very quickly going to have something else ahead of me that I’m actually going to miss what’s right in front of me.

“In the last episode, I touched on that a bit, about feeling like I had been on a treadmill for years and moments were just flying by.”

Disney offered to remove the scenes where Hemsworth discovers his Alzheimer’s predisposition, but the actor refused. He said: “Look, if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take - then fantastic. My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and over dramatise it and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment.”

Limitless With Chris Hemsworth is available now on Disney+.