Chris Hemsworth is taking a break from acting after discovering in the docuseries "Limitless" that he has a higher chance of developing Alzheimer's disease due to genetic factors.
The Marvel star told Vanity Fair that he won't take on any more projects for a while once his press tour for "Limitless" wraps. The decision came after Hemsworth learned while shooting the Disney+ series that he has a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's and is eight to 10 times more likely to develop the disease.
"It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off," Hemsworth 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," he added. "Be with the kids, be with my wife."
The "Thor" star also opened up about his grandfather, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He shared that he wasn't sure if his grandfather "remembers much anymore" and that his granddad "slips in and out of Dutch, which is his original language."
As for his own predisposition diagnosis, the "Avengers" actor said, "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."
"Limitless" is a new documentary series on aging that explores topics on regenerating damage, maximizing strength, building resilience, shocking the body, supercharging memory and confronting mortality to "live better for longer."
Hemsworth underwent genetic testing while shooting the series, and the results showed that he carries two copies of the gene APOE4 — one from each parent — which studies have linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The Hollywood star acknowledged that he has already gotten used to those close to him making jokes about the diagnosis.
"It was confronting initially, but very quickly it became a self-deprecating sort of joke, if you will. It's just the way I am, my family, there's a sense of humor. And such is life, so ...," Hemsworth told Vanity Fair.
The test results and his experience meeting death doulas and confronting the end of his life on the show convinced him to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
"When you have a predisposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything — it's all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It's all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way," he said.
Hemsworth told the magazine that Disney offered him a version of "Limitless" without his diagnosis, but he was adamant about leaving it in.
"Look, if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take—then fantastic. My concern was I just didn't want to manipulate it and overdramatize it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment," Hemsworth said, adding, "It's not like I've been handed my resignation."
Hemsworth has already finished production on his Netflix movie "Extraction 2" and George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" prequel "Furiosa."
"Limitless" streams on Disney+.