Chris Hemsworth took on extreme challenges for a new TV series, from trying a Navy SEAL drill and swimming in icy water to pulling a truck and fasting for four days, according to Men’s Journal.
The “Thor” actor stars in the upcoming six episode series “Limitless,” which explores the potential of the human body through a gauntlet of grueling ordeals, and is scheduled for release November 16 on Disney+.
Hemsworth told Men’s Journal that he tore ligaments and injured his back completing the series, all while simultaneously training to play Thor.
“There was no faking what I was going through,” he said. “The running joke between me and my mates was, we were gonna call it Limited, ’cause we were capping out.”
One of the activities was a Navy SEAL-style drowning simulation: while the full details haven’t been shared, the official “Limitless” trailer shows Hemsworth being shoved into a pool with his hands bound behind his back and feet tied.
The exercise appears to mirror the Navy’s “drown proofing” drill undergone by recruits aspiring to the elite SEAL force. The drill is meant to develop mental toughness, calmness under pressure, and confidence in the water, according to a video shared by the Washington Post.
However, Hemsworth said the most difficult episode to film involved surfing and swimming in 37-degree water in the Norwegian Arctic, Hemsworth said.
“Halfway through, my brain felt like it was being stabbed by a thousand knives,” he told Men’s Journal.
The actor is no stranger to physical challenges, including chilly water his personal trainer and longtime friend Luke Zocchi previously told Insider that Hemsworth swears by ice baths to help with muscle aches.
Hemsworth has also continually raised the bar in packing on increasing amounts of muscle to play a Marvel superstar. He said training for his recent turn in “Thor: Love and Thunder” was “particularly hard.”
But at 39 years old, he also told Men’s Journal that he’s noticing more fatigue from the intensive physical work, prompting him to pay more attention recovery strategies like getting more sleep, and to longevity in general.
“I’ve always thought, ‘Oh yeah, I’m not gonna die,'” Hemsworth said. “And then as I approach 40, I’m all of a sudden going, ‘Oh my God, I’m potentially halfway there.’ It was all very confronting.”