From the outside, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky seem to be one of Hollywood’s most steady couples. They have been married for almost a decade, and live away from the spotlight with their three kids in Australia’s Byron Bay. But behind the scenes, it would seem that their marriage has been quite the rollercoaster, and Pataky has reflected that it’s remarkable that they’ve made it this far.
Judging by appearances, you may be forgiven for thinking that Hemsworth and Pataky have it all. They seem to have a happy family, thriving careers and a picture-perfect relationship. Even so, Pataky has revealed that they have had their fair share of problems, just like every other couple on the planet.
While he may be among the highest-paid actors on the planet, as well as one of the sexiest, Pataky has confirmed that Hemsworth is far from perfect. In fact, in 2020 the actress told the Australian magazine body+soul that a “relationship is constant work.” And in another interview with Vogue Australia magazine she admitted that she’d had her doubts about their relationship at first.
Before Hemsworth’s and Pataky’s paths first crossed in 2010 they were both making their way up the ranks of the acting world. He had started his TV career in his native Australia, making a name for himself in the popular TV soap Home and Away. She, meanwhile, was already famous in her home country of Spain, with a string of credits under her belt.
With their careers on the up, both budding stars eventually set their sights on Hollywood. Hemsworth’s first major role was in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek remake in 2009. His part was small, but that being said, it was enough of an opportunity for the Aussie hunk to make some waves in the movie world.
Pataky, meanwhile, ventured stateside to play Maria in the 2006 action film Snakes on a Plane. That being said, she was still relatively unknown in Hollywood when she met her future husband Hemsworth in early 2010. The pair were introduced by a talent agent and seemed to have a connection from the off.
In an interview with Elle magazine in 2010 Hemsworth said of his initial meeting with Pataky, “There was no light-bulb moment.” He added, “From the first time we met, we just made sense. She’s fun. She’s outgoing, and she has a sense of humor and a passionate attitude toward life, which is nice to try to keep up with.”
Hemsworth and Pataky made their romance official in September 2010. And from there the couple didn’t mess around. Clearly deciding there was little point in hanging around, they married in December that year, tying the knot in Australia over the Christmas holidays. While the rapid nuptials may have suggested this was something of a whirlwind romance, a source told Us Magazine at the time, “They are in love, and have been talking about it for a while.”
Revealing the reason for their speedy wedding, in 2016 Hemsworth told TV show Good Morning Britain, “It did happen quick and it just felt right, it made sense. There was no great plan to any of it, to be honest. We were on holiday and we said, ‘Why don’t we get married too?’ There probably should have been some planning but it all worked out.”
So the couple entered 2011 as newlyweds, but that wasn’t the only way their lives would change that year. It was then that Hemsworth made his first appearance as the superhero Thor, in the film of the same name. It turns out that he had beat off some stiff competition to play the Norse god, including his little brother, Liam.
Bizarrely, Pataky also had a connection to Thor. When she was just 15, she’d had the symbol of the God of Thunder tattooed on her bicep. Little did she know as a teen that she would end up marrying the man who became world-famous for playing the superhero on the silver screen.
Speaking about her fateful tattoo in an interview with Vogue Australia in 2018 Pataky revealed, “Yes, it’s about Thor and I ended up marrying who plays Thor! It is shocking how things in life [turn out]. I just liked that [symbol] and the legend he had was so beautiful and I wanted to keep it.”
Thor proved popular with movie-going audiences and propelled Hemsworth to stardom. He would reprise the role in the 2012 film The Avengers, as well as in Thor: The Dark World in 2013. Further outings as the Norse god came in 2015 with Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2017’s Thor Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and Avengers: Endgame a year later.
As well as cementing a place in the superhero history books, Hemsworth also gained a reputation as a Hollywood heartthrob. In 2014 he was named as People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. Responding to the accolade, the actor told the magazine he thought it was “pretty funny” – as had Pataky.
By that point, Hemsworth and Pataky had already welcomed three children. Their first, a daughter named India, was born in 2012. Their family then expanded further with the addition of their twin sons, Tristan and Sasha, in 2014. And it seems that becoming a dad had changed the Thor star’s outlook on life.
Opening up about parenthood in a 2015 interview with TV show E! News Hemsworth said, “I think it makes you less selfish because it’s no longer about you. It can’t be. It’s about someone else, which is refreshing. It’s nice to not spend all your time thinking about your own problems and garbage up there and I just have so much fun doing it. It’s the best.”
Hemsworth added that being a dad also made him reconsider what roles to take on as an actor. He explained, “Now I’m a bit more choosy, I think, with when I work and how I work because it better be worthwhile to take me away from them.” Pataky, meanwhile, took a back seat from her career for a while to look after their brood.
Now that he was a dad, Hemsworth was also eager to reconnect with his home country. In 2015 he told newspaper Daily Mail Australia, “We’re spending more and more time back in Australia and I definitely want the kids to grow up here and spend time here… We were in California a lot [and] I missed it here and my wife missed it too. So that was our goal to get back here.”
Hemsworth and Pataky eventually made the move Down Under in early 2015. A few months prior, the couple had purchased a $7.2 million home in the Australian coastal town of Byron Bay. There, the family could enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, away from the Hollywood spotlight.
In 2018 Hemsworth revealed the reason behind his move to Australia while talking to Condé Nast Traveler magazine. He explained, “There were parts of L.A. living that I loved – but me and my wife just felt it was right for the family that we moved back to Australia. The locals in Byron treat us just like locals. It’s more relaxed than L.A., less intense, and just more conducive to raising our three children.”
Over the next few years, Hemsworth and Pataky cultivated an enviable bohemian lifestyle for themselves on the east coast of Australia. What’s more, they often provided fans with a glimpse into their world on social media. But in August 2020 Pataky revealed that her marriage wasn’t as perfect as it might look from the outside.
In an interview with body+soul magazine, Pataky said of her marriage to Hemsworth, “It’s funny that people think of us as a perfect couple. No way. It’s been ups and downs, and we still keep working at the relationship. I think a relationship is constant work. It’s not easy.”
In fact, it would seem that – in the early days of their marriage – Pataky wasn’t sure how things would turn out with Hemsworth. Revealing the source of her doubts to Vogue Australia the Spanish beauty explained, “We did everything very quickly. I don’t know how we survived as a couple.”
But sharing the secret of their success, Pataky continued, “We were married and then a year after we had kids. It puts a lot of pressure on a marriage, but we came out good because there is a lot of love between us and we are very strong personalities, but love each other so much. We make it work.”
So on the whole, Pataky felt that her union with Hemsworth was a successful one. She said, “I think our years together have been great. Every marriage has ups and downs – it’s constant work to be in a successful marriage and stay together forever. Chris’ parents have been together all their lives, and that’s such a beautiful thing, and their families are so close.”
Pataky and Hemsworth got together before the latter became a Hollywood megastar. And coping with that level of new-found fame could surely be difficult for any couple. But still, the glamorous pair managed to weather the storm that stardom can all too easily bring.
In her interview with Vogue Australia Pataky explained, “In the beginning it was beautiful – when I met [Hemsworth] he wasn’t known at all and I grew with him and experienced all his successes and changes. And then he became just so huge and I’ve been sharing that too.”
Pataky continued, “Going through every moment and being there with him with every success was actually a good thing – we grew together. It’s difficult when you go from being an unknown person to a very known person and all the changes that come with that.”
Away from Hollywood, Hemsworth and Pataky have embraced the Australian way of life. The Thor actor takes their kids surfing, and in 2018 a video of him taking to the waves with his daughter, India, went viral. Speaking of the adorable clip, Pataky said, “It gave me goosebumps.”
Explaining why the sweet moment between her husband and daughter resonated with her, Pataky told Vogue Australia, “Before having my kids I had read a story about a guy who was talking about his dad and how much he admired him. And there was a photo of him and his father surfing exactly as Chris did with our daughter. I thought, ‘How amazing is that?’”
Referring to the surfing episode, Pataky continued, “It was so great, and they were having so much fun, and Sasha did it too. The waves were big – and I saw them both ducking under the waves – but they felt very safe in their dad’s arms; they loved it. And Chris was so excited that they loved it.”
After a break from acting to raise her children, Pataky resumed her acting career on the 2018 Netflix TV series Tidelands. Revealing why she took the role, the actress explained, “I said no to a lot of offers so I could be with my kids, but I had started thinking that I wanted to get back to work and suddenly this project came up.”
Pataky added, “My agent called me about it and when I read the script I loved it – the character is amazing, so interesting to play, and the whole show comes at a really good moment because it’s about women. It’s a great cast and has great young people and the leads are two very strong women.”
But despite Pataky’s brief return to the spotlight in Tidelands, the actress wasn’t in a rush to follow the role up with a new project. As she explained to body+soul, “I really liked being with the kids. I wanted to take them to school and pick them up every day. I just love that moment.”
Revealing why she was so eager to be a hands-on mom, Pataky added, “I didn’t grow up with my parents [around] and I missed that so much, so I wanted to give that to my kids… I love acting, but having balance is important to me. So, if something comes along that fits into my life and lets me work close to home, then I’m happy to do it.”
Even so, it would seem that Pataky has grown into her role as a mother over the years. She explained to body+soul, “I remember feeling a bit lost when I had India. I thought my life was going to be the same [when I had kids] and I would keep working. But I couldn’t.”
It seems at first that Pataky felt unfulfilled as a stay-at-home mom, though these thoughts didn’t last for long. She revealed, “Chris would come home and say, ‘How was your day?’ And I didn’t feel proud to say: ‘I’m just a mum.’ But you should. Because it’s the hardest but greatest job in the world.”
For Hemsworth too, his family took priority over work. With that in mind, in 2019 the actor announced that he would be taking a break from starring in movies in order to spend more time with his wife and kids. Revealing the reason behind his hiatus, Hemsworth explained, “I’d hate to look back in 20 years and go, ‘Right, let’s get to work as a parent’ and I’ve missed it all.”
In December 2020 Hemsworth and Patky will celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. And after a decade together, the Thor star is still smitten with his wife. Asked if she ever gets jealous of all the female attention he receives, in October 2020 the Aussie actor told New! magazine: “No, not at all – she knows I only have eyes for her.”
That being said, Hemsworth admitted that his relationship with Pataky wasn’t perfect. He explained, “There are challenges and you have to work hard – a good marriage doesn’t just happen.” The Marvel star added, “I’ve been so fortunate to have had the career I’ve had so far, but my biggest achievement is without doubt my family.”