TORONTO - As Chris Hemsworth prepared to portray a wild Formula One racer who goes up against a formidable rival in his upcoming movie "Rush," the hunky Australian actor got bombarded with often conflicting advice.
Some well-meaning enthusiasts nitpicked over just how he ought to deliver James Hunt's British accent while others schooled him on how to achieve the legendary racer's signature swagger.
As the barrage of tips showed no sign of slowing, Hemsworth decided to take a cue from the late real-life racer he was readying to depict on the big screen.
"You go, 'now where's my focus?' It's too many avenues to try and hit here," he explained of the onslaught while he promoted the adrenaline-pumping flick at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"For my own sort of sanity, but more so for the truth of the character we just had to have his approach to life, which is disregard the outside opinions, go for it."
Like the self-assured racer he plays, Hemsworth chose to rely on his own intuitive interpretation of the character after studying footage of Hunt, talking to his rivals and getting in a racecar himself.
"It was a good life lesson, a good way to approach any character I think, just about life, not getting caught up in the various opinions," said the actor who is widely known for playing the title character in "Thor."
"The more I'd understand him or read about him or hear about it him it reinforced that — do you it your way."
"Rush" — directed by Ron Howard, the man responsible for films like "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind" — details the rivalry between Hunt and Niki Lauda, a meticulous, socially abrasive driver played by Daniel Bruhl, who is the swashbuckling Brit's polar opposite.
The fast-paced film — which follows Hunt and Lauda on and off the track — crescendos at the 1976 season where the rivalry between the two men is responsible for both pushing them to the edge and bringing them back from it.
For Hemsworth, the movie highlighted some of the best elements of his character, who otherwise had quite a notorious reputation in the sexy 70s.
"Doing this film was a nice reminder to sort of stay true to yourself," he said. "I'd like to think it was all part of a learning lesson and it came at a good time in my life."
"Rush" opens in theatres Sept. 27.
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