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Chris Hemsworth Meets With 'Older Version' Of His Wife In Case He Doesn’t Remember Her Later In Life

Photo: National Geographic / Instagram
Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth is no stranger to superpowers. 

Released in November, the “Thor” actor’s new docuseries “Limitless” with National Geographic pushes the boundaries of what we know about human ability and aging — to ‘unlock our body’s superpowers.’ 

Shocking to everyone upon release, the docuseries revealed much more than just fascinating science and wisdom — it also exposed a heartbreaking revelation about Hemsworth’s health. 

What he found following a series of genetic tests during the series, was what he called, his “biggest fear” — a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's. 

To help ease some of his fears, Hemsworth's wife came up with a plan to create a memory he feared he would never get.

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Elsa Pataky dressed as an 'older version' of herself so Chris Hemsworth could imagine what his wife would look like in the future.

The couple, who have been married since 2010 and share three children, let fans into the intimate moment Pataky surprised Hemsworth with an aged version of herself.

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After Hemsworth announced in 2019 that he’d be taking ‘a break’ from acting to spend more time with his family, fans and media alike seemed to worry that there was something else to the story. 

While filming his docuseries, Hemsworth confronted ‘his own mortality’ when receiving his seemingly lighthearted DNA results. 

In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Hemsworth delved into the shocking way he found out about his gene indicator for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

With an initial plan to deliver his results on-camera for the show, Hemsworth’s director quickly changed his mind when Dr. Peter Attia, the genetic doctor for that episode, called him. 

   

   

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“I don’t want to tell him this on camera,” the doctor told Hemsworth's director, “We need to have an outside conversation and see if he wants this to be in the show.” 

After a short conversation with the doctor on the phone, Hemsworth was faced with “his biggest fear” — potentially losing the future that he was so excited to share with his family. 

“It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication,” Hemsworth says about the two copies of the APOE4 gene found in the tests, “Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.” 

“We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out,” Hemsworth shared, “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 all sinks in.” 

In confronting fears about aging, the docuseries team dressed Hemsworth’s wife up as an ‘older version’ of herself. 

“I feel really vulnerable,” Pataky revealed while getting her makeup done.

“I’m not sure I want Chris to see me like this.” 

Filming a dance scene, the team sits Pataky down at a table with her back to the door, and informs Hemsworth that he has a date ready to dance — surely they won’t ‘tell his wife.’ 

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As he nears the table, Hemsworth touches what he thinks to be a stranger on her arm, and is shocked to tears when she turns around — the ‘older version’ of his wife. 

This is the future that he'd talked so fearfully about forgetting — the embodiment of decades of love, still married and in bliss.

“Still beautiful,” he says through tears, as the couple dances together under the lights. 

Accepting the gracefulness of aging and pushing the boundaries of capability — that’s what the docuseries was meant to portray.

Quickly, though, his work became emblematic of his life. 

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“I think this moment, we will remember forever,” Pataky says about her transformation and confronting the future with her husband, “It was so deep and so unexpected. I felt safe. It was so beautiful.” 

After having accepted his genetic predisposition and his fear of losing the future, Hemsworth reflects on the scene: “I think what is quite confronting is approaching that age on my own. What makes it less scary is having someone to experience it with. Having people around you that you love — it makes it much more accepting.” 

Hemsworth uses the news of his genetic predisposition as a ‘motivator’ to make changes and live wholeheartedly. 

Recapturing his present moments and spending time with his family are at the forefront of Hemsworth’s mind as we move forward into a new year. 

Still on a break from acting and work endeavors, the actor has been adamant about “stepping back” — reflecting on a ‘full sprint’ in his career over the past decade and taking time to celebrate and relax. 

“I’m much more comfortable saying no,” he reveals about the past few months and new opportunities, “I’m very thankful for that. I’m glad I’m not having this conversation 20 years from now and my kids have grown up and left my home.” 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer who focuses on pop culture analysis and human interest stories. Catch up with them on Instagram or TikTok  

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