'Thor' Star Says Vikings' 'Fearlessness' Inspired His Portrayal

'He does reckless sort of things but his heart is in the right place,' Chris Hemsworth tells MTV News of his Marvel character.

Chris Hemsworth is no stranger to TV and film — he appeared in last summer's mega-hit "Star Trek" — but in tackling the starring role in Marvel's 2011 superhero film "Thor," the 26-year-old enters a whole new category of leading man. When MTV News caught up with Hemsworth, he revealed that "Thor" director Kenneth Branagh had helped in his superhero education by giving him some pre-shoot homework.

"I read so many different books and comic books," Hemsworth told us at San Diego Comic-Con. "Ken, when I got the part, gave me a stack of things and said, 'Look, read what you want, I'm not going to test you at the end of it.' "

Hemsworth revealed that Branagh told him not to stress too much about boning up on Thor's entire history, but to use the books as tools for whatever inspiration he might gain, be it a stance, costume, etc. "He said, 'If you can get something from it, great, it might only be one look.' "

The actor said he found the most useful information in books about Norse mythology, specifically those that referenced Vikings and their belief systems and ideals regarding fate and death. Hemsworth cited the Vikings' attitude toward destiny as one quality he drew from in preparing to play the God of Thunder.

"Their fatalistic attitude, how everything was preordained: the day of their death, the way they're going to die has already been fated long ago," he explained. "They live with this fearlessness, which for me, was a lot of the angle I came at Thor with," Hemsworth revealed. "He does reckless sort of things but his heart is in the right place. He believes it's right. He's not just a madman."

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