Chris Hemsworth Thought Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Would End His Career, But Not For The Snarky Reason You're Thinking

Soon after Chris Hemsworth signed on to star in the 2016 franchise comeback, "Ghostbusters: Answer The Call," he came to the unsettling conclusion that it might be the role that would end his career. Undoubtedly, a certain subset of awful fanboys will read that sentence and assume they know why: probably for the same reasons the film was raked over the coals by online discourse! The film features a largely female cast of SNL alums — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones — and for that, it stood apart from all the "Ghostbusters" movies that came before. Apparently this was an unforgivable offense and a toxic mix of sexism, racism and internet access led to an online meltdown even before the film hit theaters.

Never mind the fact that the film got a relatively warm reception from critics (it's currently Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 73% rating), that firestorm, combined with the film's eventual underperformance at the box office, led Sony to abandon plans for a sequel and instead return to the franchise in 2021 with "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." But none of this is why Chris Hemsworth feared agreeing to the role would ruin his career.

His anxiety was much more internal — Hemsworth worried that his performance would be the problem. In case you've made the sorry mistake of depriving yourself the joys of Chris Hemsworth playing a male twist on the dumb-blonde joke, then just know this: Hemsworth stars as Kevin Beckman, a character that Kate McKinnon once described as "a ken doll with the insides scooped out."

Kevin the Receptionist answers the call

While reflecting on his most memorable roles with GQ, Hemsworth explained that Paul Feig brought the role to him just after his stint hosting SNL, and having a cameo in 2015's "Vacation." Seeing that he already had some comedic experience, Feig thought he'd be perfect for the role. Hemsworth was happy to sign aboard, but had some pause when he looked at his role in the script:

"I said to Paul [Feig], 'There's not a whole lot on the page, like, what do you want me doing?' He said, 'Oh, we'll figure it out when you get here.' So I said, 'Okay, why not? Let's go.' And I got there, turned up to the studio the day before we started shooting and he handed me the script, I read the script and I said, 'There's still nothing in here. Like, what am I doing?' And he said, 'It's okay, we're gonna improvise and have fun.' And my immediate reaction was, 'this is not only the end of my career but I'm going to ruin this film, I'm gonna let everyone down, I haven't done this before, what am I doing?'"

Just like the rest of us, Chris Hemsworth has a very loud voice of self-doubt in his head. Luckily, he also had a cast of comedy veterans at his side. Hemsworth went on to say that McCarthy, Wiig, Jones, and McKinnon took him under their wing: "We just went on this wacky adventure of discovering who this character was. 90% of it was improvised and in the moment."

As it turns out, we should be thanking our lucky stars that Chris Hemsworth answered the call and donned those lens-less glasses. Kevin the Receptionist might very well be the role that woke the world to Hemsworth's comedic genius.

Introducing Chris Hemsworth, improv extraordinaire

While he was intimidated at the prospect of improv on the spot, Hemsworth's work in the film ended up being a major highlight. "Ghostbusters" screenwriter Katie Dippold told MTV News that the receptionist interview scene was about an hour-long when it was shot: "They started talking about whether he could bring his cat to work, and then Chris just started improvising."

This is how the infamous Mike Hat joke was born; Mike Hat (full name Michael Hat) is the name of Kevin's dog and sounds suspiciously like "My Cat," which causes some very understandable confusion for the rest of the ghostbusting team. Dippold added, "He's not only amazing at everything, but he's also a really hilarious improviser, which is crazy." This isn't even the biggest spur-of-the-moment contribution he made to the film — that honor goes to the glasses that Kevin wears without any lenses. Dippold said:

"My other favorite moment — and this is probably my favorite moment in the movie — is when Chris rubs his eyes while wearing his glasses and you realize he doesn't have any lenses. That was a total accident. They just took out the glass because the light was showing in the camera. It was reflecting. While shooting the scene, he naturally scratched his eye, and Melissa, being so funny, was like, 'I'm sorry. Hold on a second. Why no glass?' And they just ran with that whole thing."

Immediately after "Ghostbusters," Hemsworth would go on to star in the very important duology of "Team Thor" and "Team Thor 2," the short film precursors to the chaos of "Thor: Ragnarok," revitalizing the character and transforming him into a wise-cracking, riotous God. Is it fair that Hemsworth gets to have that face and also a pristine sense of humor? Absolutely not. But given we get to enjoy all his talents, how can we complain?