Chris Hemsworth is turning the mighty Thor's fall from grace into his own personal rise to Hollywood stardom.
Hemsworth stars in the title role of "Thor," the Marvel Comics superhero adaptation that opens May 6 to lead off what is expected to be a season of summer blockbusters.
The 27-year-old Australian actor joined distributor Paramount Pictures to show off footage of "Thor" to theater owners Monday night at their CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, where Hemsworth will receive an award Thursday as male star of tomorrow.
After a six-month casting process, Hemsworth said he felt as if he had won the lottery when he got the role as the fallen Norse god, particularly given his colleagues on "Thor." Among them: Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins and director Kenneth Branagh.
"As a young actor being in this town, prior to this, it was knocking on doors and auditioning and going on the rounds," Hemsworth said in an interview. "This has sort of set me up, hopefully, for more of these films and opened other doors."
With "Thor" still weeks away from its premiere, Hemsworth already is heading back to the set to reprise the role in the ensemble superhero adventure "The Avengers," due out in 2012. The film teams Hemsworth's Thor with other big-screen Marvel Comics idols, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America and Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk.
The "Thor" footage shown at CinemaCon chronicles the fall of the hero from Asgard, the realm of the Norse gods. Cocky and quarrelsome, Thor is cast out by his father (Hopkins) and banished to learn some humility among mortals on Earth, where he falls in with a team of scientists that includes Portman.
After a start in Australian television, Hemsworth landed a small role as James Kirk's father in 2009's "Star Trek." Bigger roles followed in the action tale "Red Dawn" and the horror story "Cabin in the Woods," two films that have sat on the shelf awaiting release amid financial troubles at distributor MGM.
Hemsworth is the middle sibling in a family of three brothers who all went into acting. His older brother is Australian TV veteran Luke Hemsworth and his younger sibling is Miley Cyrus' ex-boyfriend and "The Last Song" co-star Liam Hemsworth.
While "Thor" is the biggest score for the Hemsworth acting clan, there was no sibling rivalry when he landed the role, the film's star said.
"We're competitive in the best ways. Always have been growing up," Hemsworth said. "In this particular business, I guess we're all aware of the uncertainly of it. The odds are against you. So it's kind of a team effort. When somebody gets a job, you're just as happy for each, and this particular thing, they were just as excited as I was."