Chris Hemsworth has spoken out about learning that he is more likely than a normal person to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a kind of dementia that gradually impairs memory. The 39-year-old actor underwent DNA testing, according to Vanity Fair, for the docuseries Limitless, which examines how to age more slowly.
He possesses two copies of the APOE4 gene, which has been associated with an elevated risk of developing degenerative brain illness, according to the test results. Only 2 to 3% of people carry both copies of the gene, according to a 2021 study. Hemsworth told Vanity Fair that “[t]he plan was to on-camera tell me all the results and then talk about how you can improve this and that.”
“And Peter Attia, who is the longevity doctor in that episode, and overseeing a lot of the show, called [show creator] Darren [Aronofsky] and said, ‘I don’t want to tell him this on camera. We need to have an off-side conversation and see if he even wants this to be in the show,'” Hemsworth claimed he was informed that the data increased his risk of contracting the illness by an “eight to 10 times” margin.
The Thor: Love and Thunder actor claimed the episode made him consider his own mortality and how he had been “slapping another movie on top of another movie” because his grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease. He remarked, “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,” he added.
The actor has reportedly already wrapped up filming for his next roles in Extraction 2 and the Mad Max spinoff Furiosa, according to Deadline.
Hemsworth highlighted that he doesn’t want to “manipulate” or “overdramatize” what he discovered, saying that all he has been given is “cause for concern” rather than a definitive diagnosis. In fact, he claimed that he made the decision to reveal his condition in the show so that viewers may discover, as he did, that there are preventative measures that can be taken to fight Alzheimer’s.
He explained, “It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation and this is what it is—and it’s up in a few months. It’s not quite that situation, thankfully.”