Chris Hemsworth was set on fire eight times during filming of ‘Extraction 2’
When Chris Hemsworth’s name was announced by the host on Monday, a thunderous scream broke out from the ballroom of a hotel in Pasay City. Then out came a towering figure from the back of what seemed like the rear of a makeshift trailer truck.
Hemsworth waved to squealing fans and select media from the Asia and Pacific region invited to the press junket for his new action movie “Extraction 2,” to be shown on Netflix starting June 16. The Australian actor, with his dark blonde looks and bristly face, charmed the crowd with his smile, posing for photos while “confessions of love” rang throughout the ballroom.
“I’m feeling good. We flew in last night, feeling well rested. I’m so excited to be here,” he told the crowd during a media conference. True enough, not too many people knew that Hemsworth landed in Manila sometime in the night.
But while he did not show any sign of so much as a jetlag, Hemsworth admitted that he has had his fair share of enervating action in “Extraction 2,” one of which was a prison fight scene where he was seen punching detainees while being lit on fire in the trailer. This scene, Hemsworth said, counts as one of the “hardest” scenes he had to bring to life.
The Hollywood actor, along with the film’s director Sam Hargrave, looked back at their most memorable experiences while filming the movie’s sequel to the action film, including the titular prison fight scene.
“Eight times,” Hargrave said, when he was asked about how many times the Australian superstar was lit on fire for that scene. “I enjoyed lighting Chris Hemsworth on fire. That was the most rewarding part.”
Laughing at the filmmaker’s response, Hemsworth said the prison fight scene was filmed when it was snowing, which made him ask the crew to “light [him] up.”
“It was snowing so I was like, ‘light me up,’” he said. “Everyone would sort of have this flammable liquid on my jacket. We had a few people and me who would be lit on fire, and by the end of the sequence, I’m gonna punch around and kick a few guys.”
“The instruction was as if the fire was not out, and then we would just [start filming]. It’s a great responsibility to be lit on fire and to put it out. I think it was [seen] in the first trailer where we had 300 extras and we were lit on fire,” he added.
Hemsworth also drew laughs from the press when he was asked about his favorite moment of the particular scene where he replied, “Completion.”
Hargrave, who was seemingly proud of the actor’s dedication, seconded his statement as he talked about “pushing the envelope” in the sequel of “Extraction.”
“We really pushed the envelope. Watching Chris put himself on the line per day, like lighting yourself on fire for the audience, that deserves a round of applause,” he said.
On filming action scenes
During the event, the 39-year-old actor also admitted that performing fight sequences “hurts him a bit more” since he’s getting older despite filming a string of action films throughout his career.
“I’m a little older now, so it hurts a bit more. In my 20s, when you’re doing warm-up and smashing yourself around, you had no worries. And you just want to impress the stunt coordinator and director, and head first and everything. It doesn’t lean into the longevity of it all because I had a lot of injuries that could have been prevented, which I should have had more intelligence. It’s a certain fear of letting someone down on set because you’re so thankful for the job, but you [end up] doing silly things,” he said.
As an experienced action star, the actor stressed there’s a “certain amount” of effort in doing fight sequences, which gives him a mindset of a rookie who’s excited to learn the ropes of the film while on set.
“The familiarity with learning the routine and the steps and the fight choreography becomes easier, and some of it is familiar. And you’ve been picking parts from films and other fight sequences, so it feels like starting again. But it takes a certain amount of effort so you have to come into this film physically prepared in a different way,” he said.
Even if Hemsworth revealed that his action sequences are “terrifying,” he finds comfort in the fact that adding more “elevated risks” provides a more “elevated performance” that would delight audiences.
“It was terrifying, but I think we all knew that the elevated risks were gonna give us [a more] elevated performance and elevated effects for the audience,” he said.
The Sam Hargrave-helmed film also stars Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa, Olga Kurylenko, Tinatin Dalakishvili, Andro Jafaridze, Miriam Kovziashvili, and Marta Kovziashvili. EDV