In a live Instagram Q&A posted yesterday on Netflix’s YouTube channel, Extraction lead and godly mortal Chris Hemsworth answered several fan questions about his role in this spring’s biggest action thriller.
The Netflix original featured some of the most extravagant fight choreography of recent memory, including a 12-minute-long “oner” (a technique using a sequence of single takes to resemble one continuous tracking shot) that saw director Sam Hargrave strap himself to a chase car and then hand the camera through the window of Hemsworth’s lead vehicle.
The technical complexity helped prop up a more or less conventional action flick.
Extraction maintains a straightforward narrative—the entire-town-against-one-guy device that Hemsworth says draws from westerns and Steve McQueen films—and it plays out like one long video game escort mission: take the kidnapped child from Point A to Point B and kill a bunch of people in between. But at the core of that mission is another emotional journey, perhaps no less cliche than its outward shoot ‘em up, but equally demanding for Hemsworth’s character Tyler Rake: reckoning with the son who died as he fights to save the living, proverbial Son He No Longer Has.
Hemsworth himself is a father of three. He shot Extraction in India and Bangladesh, far from his family in Australia. Hemsworth says he drew on the distance for help in one particular scene, where an emotional Tyler reveals to Ovi why, behind all his fearless gunplay, he’s not actually brave; he wasn’t there for the death of his son. (The viewers learn he passed from lymphoma.)
Here’s how Hemsworth broke down his breakdown:
It’s not that we haven’t seen Hemsworth get emotional before—even Thor has moments on vulnerability before the Marvel joking ensues. But the courage speech gave us something else, maybe just a reminder that Hemsworth has the emotional range to carry a film he’s not outwardly, physically battling through. As much as we love those battles, we’re also curious to see a performance where the guns stay locked away.
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