How did you react when you found out you were this year’s Sexiest Man Alive?
“I found it pretty funny. My wife did too. I think you’ve bought me a couple of weeks of bragging rights around the house. I can just say to her, ‘Now, remember, this is what the people think, so I don’t need to do the dishes anymore-I’m above that. I’ve made it now.”‘ [Laughs]
Your mother taught English, and your dad was a social services counselor in Melbourne who also worked on a station in the Australian outback. What were you like growing up there?
“I didn’t love school. I didn’t like having to sit still that long. I’m much more active and physical. I wanted to surf and get outside and do things. I think I was very challenging: ‘Why are we learning this’ What’s the point of this7′ I used to get in a lot of trouble for it too.”
When did you realize you were going to make it as an actor?
“Rush. That’s when I first kind of felt taken seriously. It opened up so many more things. But that self-doubt of ‘Am I ever going to work again?’ is still always there. And that’s a good thing. It keeps you hungry.”
Your role in In the Heart off the Sea, in which you battle a whale, looks physically grueling. Do you always do your own stunts?
“I try to, because it’s fun. We spent two months on the water and two months in the studio with replicas of the ships. The cast had to get skinnier and skinnier until the end, where we were just emaciated.”
Have you ever been injured while filming?
“Just my back, from Thor, because the costume is so heavy. It basically has one point in it where you bend from, so it kind of loads up on one vertebra. I think it’s just taken its toll over the years.”
Is it hard getting your body into Thor shape?
“No, it’s strictly weight lifting and bodybuilding. When I’m not doing that character, I want to get lean again as quickly as possible, because carrying that weight is exhausting. And none of my clothes fit!”
What do you sleep in?
“Not much. Usually nothing. Or boxer shorts. I’m definitely not a pajama person. It’s too hot.”
Do you have any habits that drive your wife crazy?
“I have trouble concentrating. I’ll be into the conversation, and then all of a sudden there will be something over here that I’m thinking about. She’s like, ‘Chris, are you even listening?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just didn’t hear that last bit because you’re Spanish. Your English isn’t real good.’ Which drives her crazy because her English is perfect.”
Will your kids be bilingual?
“Yes, definitely. My daughter speaks a mash-up of English and Spanish. When I want to hold her, she’ll say, ‘No, solo!,’ which is Spanish for ‘my own’ or ‘alone.’ It’s Spanglish from her.”
Do your twin sons look alike?
“Thery’re not identical. One is, like, blond and blue-eyed, and the other one’s dark, like, ‘That’s yours, this is mine.’ It can be chaotic, especially when we’re traveling. But they’re good kids. We’re lucky.”
What has been your biggest dad emergency.
“Bath time. l’ve cl np it by myself ti es. My wife will read this and say, ‘No, you haven’t,’ but there have been a couple of times! Or when you’re trying to change all of them. That time is just manic-they’re hungry, they’re tired, they do want a bath, they don’t want a bath. That’s when all hell breaks loose.”
Any memorable “aha” moments?
“Definitely. Being a dad, you grow up really quick. You become incredibly more responsible, and the kid inside you comes back. I just love rolling around on the floor with India and playing games with her.”
Does she have you wrapped around her finger?
“Oh, yeah. Both of us. We’ll say, ‘Okay, that’s it. No more ice cream.’ And she’s like, ‘Gelato? Ice cream? And she pretends to lick an ice cream, and I’m like, ‘Oh, she’s just too cute.· Then she goes crazy because of the sugar, so it backfires.”
What do you drive?
“We have a big Volkswagen family van. Very sexy. [Laughs] But I love it because it’s so practical. That’s the thing: With kids you become practical, don’t you?”
Do you have any tattoos?
“I have the initials of my family here. [Points to his right forearm] And I have a Dr. Seuss character from Oh, the Places You’ll Go right here. [Touches his left biceps] It’s a book I read to my daughter.”
Will you get anymore?
“Maybe. They’re a pain to cover up when you shoot a movie. It’s, like, an hour of makeup.”
What’s your biggest fear?
“Those moments for anyone with kids where you’re like, ‘Where is she? What is she doing?’ India has learned how to open doors and does this thing where she’ll just walk off. We’ve got a big property in Australia. You’re like, ‘India! India!’ And she’s tiny. It’s not like you’re going to see her. There have been a couple of freak-outs.”
What’s your favorite time of day?
“Dusk. There’s something sort of melancholy and moody about it. Nostalgic. I always feel like that time of day makes me think about when I was younger.”
Are you recognized more in Australia than in the U.S.?
“Probably, because there’s a connection, like, ‘Yeah, you’re ours!'”
What does your perfect day entail?
“Not working We just had a big beach day with the kids, swimming and kicking the ball around. That was the first time in a long time we’ve sort of done that. That’s what it’s all about.”
First big acting gig: Playing personal trainer and lifeguard Kim Hyde on Home and Away, an Australian soap opera. “I was trying to prove I was an actor, and I was angsty and just didn’t enjoy it. Looking back, I just want to slap that kid: ‘Dude, you’re 18, you’re on a TV show, earning good money, you’re living on the beach.’
“Marriage got me off the streets. I just found my best friend sooner rather than later.”