In his new docu-series Limitless, movie star Chris Hemsworth set out to explore how people can live longer, healthier lives—and ended up getting some health news which led to him grappling with the idea of his own mortality.
As part of the show’s series of experiments in human longevity, Hemsworth underwent genetic testing in order to see if he might be genetically predisposed to any medical conditions, and it was discovered that he is at a higher-than-average risk of Alzheimer. Due to the presence of two OPAE4 genes, Hemsworth is up to eight to ten times more likely to develop the illness. He was informed of this off-camera by Dr. Peter Attia.
“The show, which initially was an exploration of longevity and, of course, should be fun, became even more relevant and important for me, even more poignant than I ever thought it would be,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair this week. “It was a really good catalyst to dive into everything I needed to be doing in either the prevention front or the management front or however you want to classify it. 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.”
Hemsworth added that he hopes people will watch Limitless and be motivated to be more proactive in taking better care of themselves, whether this means making changes to their lifestyles or taking similar genetic tests. He also said that he will be taking a break from his career for the first time since he first started playing Thor in the MCU over a decade ago.
“It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off,” he said. “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.”
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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.