Chris Hemsworth’s Alzheimer’s revelation forces him to ‘take time off’

Chris Hemsworth, 39, was busy filming his docuseries Limitless when he was told he has a rare, high predisposition to Alzheimer’s. The revelation prompted the actor to take a hiatus as the dad-of-three proclaimed he’s “not ready to go yet”. 

During one episode of his series, Chris underwent a series of medical tests, one of which discovered he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, which greatly increases his chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

While one in four people may carry one copy of the gene, only two to three percent of the population have both.

He described the discovery as “my biggest fear”.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, he said: “It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do.”

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Following the press tour for Limitless, the Extraction star plans to go home to Australia and simply “be with the kids, be with my wife”. 

Over the past decade, Chris has risen from relative obscurity to international superstar but admitted he has been “in a sprint” and “not really kind of enjoying what was right in front of me”.

One episode in his new series focuses on mortality, where Chris interacts with death doulas and people with diagnoses that mean they don’t have long to live. 

He explained that this episode, in particular, made him realise: “Oh God, I’m not ready to go yet.” 

Chris also had a revelation about his children, adding: “Oh my God, they’re getting older, they’re growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie. 

“Before you know it, they’re 18 and they’ve moved out of the house, and I missed the window.”

However, the actor hasn’t told his three children about the results yet. 

He claimed that as they are all under the age of 11, he doesn’t believe they will be able to understand the concept. 


Although the shocking revelation rocked Chris to his core, he insisted on keeping it in the final version of the series, hoping it would motivate “people to take better care of themselves”.  

He is also grateful that he discovered the genes now as he can start working to manage his risks and take active steps against his predisposition. 

While the original plan was for Chris to receive his results on camera, the shocking revelation prompted production to tell the actor ahead of time. 

The actor has taken the discovery in stride, joking with Vanity Fair that he now uses it as an excuse. 

He said: “The positive of it was like, ‘Right, if I didn’t know this [Alzheimer’s] information, I wouldn’t have made the changes I made.’ 

“I feel thankful that I have in my arsenal the sort of tools to best prepare myself and prevent things happening in that way.” 

Chris also revealed that filming the series has made him rethink the type of work he’ll take on in the future after his break. 

He explained: “Now, if something’s going to pull me away from my family and my kids, it’s got to be a positive, constructive, collaborative experience.”

The Rush star emphasised that he is not giving in his resignation, but simply taking some time away from work.

Limitless is now available to stream on Disney+.

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