The 2016 remake of Ghostbusters is a divisive movie at best, but Chris Hemsworth, who most famously appears as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, credits it with helping him expand his acting abilities.
In that film, a reboot of the classic 80’s franchise, Hemsworth played Kevin Beckman, the attractive but none-too-bright secretary to the all-female team.
“That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on set, and probably my real jumping-in point to improvisation,” he explained in an interview with Esquire magazine, during which he discussed his new job as an ambassador for the watchmaking company TAG Heuer.
He explained that prior to the film, his main concern was trying to make sure that he had all of his lines memorized and knew exactly what he was supposed to do. In Ghostbusters, however, that was not the process at all, and Hemsworth described it as “a lot more creatively satisfying.”
“Now I kind of want to put myself in a position where I feel like I’m right on the edge of getting it wrong and kind of not really knowing what’s happening—losing control of it—and I think that’s, to me, the key ingredient,” he said.
He noted that Taika Waititi, the director of the third Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok, had the same improvisational style as Ghostbuster‘s Paul Feig, so that the former movie put him in good standing for his future in the MCU.
That entry was definitely the most popular of the Thor films; the prior two entries were both seen as fairly week, for various reasons. (Poor romance for both, and poor villains for Thor: The Dark World.) Thor: Ragnarok, in contrast, was a lot funnier, and helped to turn Thor into a more charismatic character in general.
A lot of moviemakers have different opinions on the script vs. improv debate (look up stories about the Solo production issues, for example). Unfortunately, what worked for Hemsworth and Waititi did not do as well with Ghostbusters; it did not do well at the box office, with its sometimes lame humor not compensating for the controversial nature of the remake itself.
Still, even if you hated it, it is nice to know that some good came from it.