Chris Hemsworth thanked his mentor Louise Talmadge during his first Logie acceptance speech in 2005.
And now the U.S.-born acting coach has revealed how she played a role in launching the Hollywood careers of Chris and his brothers, Luke and Liam.
In an in-depth interview with TV Tonight, she spoke about how the siblings were discovered, as well as their ‘natural acting abilities’ and her initial fears for youngest bother Liam.
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The inside story of the Hemsworths’ rise to fame: Chris, Luke and Liam’s first acting coach has revealed what they were like to teach and how they were discovered by TV casting agents
According to estimates from The Richest, the Hemsworth brothers have a joint net worth of more than AUD$162 million (US$119 million), thanks to their roles in a string of blockbuster films and TV shows.
However, the boys came from humble beginnings in Victoria – often travelling up to two hours from Phillip Island to Melbourne’s Prahran for classes with Ms Talmadge.
The acting coach said Luke, 40, was her first Hemsworth student, and was the one who encouraged his younger brother Chris, 37, to give acting a go.
After ladies in her class likened Luke to Brad Pitt, the Westworld star suggested they see his younger brother Chris. Talmadge humoured him and it paid off, with all three brothers, and their mother Leonie, eventually training under her guidance.
Looking out for each other: Acting coach Louise Talmadge said Luke was her first Hemsworth student, and was the one who encouraged his brother Chris, now 37, to give acting a go
‘The Hemsworths were hard workers’: The drama coach claims the brothers always had ‘natural acting ability’, but she helped them harness their audition skills and confidence. Pictured: Chris on Home and Away in 2005
Humble beginnings: Chris Hemsworth thanked acting mentor Louise Talmadge during his first Logie award acceptance speech in 2005 for ‘Most Popular New Talent’
Talmadge claims the Hemsworth clan always had ‘natural acting ability’, but she helped them harness their audition skills and confidence.
‘They were all a little bit afraid of me because I’d really give them hell if they didn’t know their lines. But the Hemsworths were hard workers,’ she said.
The acting coach claimed she was initially worried about Liam’s career, who was 15 at the time, due to his tall stature.
‘He was so tall. A good looking boy, but really tall. I remember telling his mother, “He might not get any work as a young person, because casting directors can be silly. They think if a guy’s young, he’s got to be shorter than his dad”.’
‘I remember telling his mother “He might not get any work as a young person”‘: The acting coach claimed she was initially worried about Liam’s career, who was 15 at the time, due to being too tall as a teen
‘Chris sent me a lovely poster’: Talmadge still proudly follows the Hemsworth’s careers and remains in contact with the brothers. Pictured: Chris Hemsworth
While almost 15 years have passed since then, Talmadge still proudly follows the Hemsworth clan’s careers and remains in contact with the brothers.
‘When Chris got Thor, I said “My grandson loves Thor”. He sent me a lovely poster saying, “Your grandmother rules!”‘ she said.
Talmadge has heard from Luke quite a bit in recent years, but believes he’s missed his calling as an actor in comedy projects: ‘Luke’s very good at comedy, which unfortunately, I don’t see him doing. It’s too bad, because he’s really good at that.’
‘It’s too bad, because he’s really good at that’: Talmadge has heard from Luke (pictured) quite a bit in recent years, but believes he’s missed his calling as an actor in comedy projects
Elsewhere in the TV Tonight interview, the Hemsworth brothers’ first agent and casting director also reminisced on the Hollywood heartthrobs’ early careers.
Agent Jennifer Hennessy said he first met Chris in his school uniform with brother Luke, and she was quickly impressed by how serious they were about making it.
‘Both Luke and Chris were quick studies regarding the industry, their place in it, and what they needed to do to be constantly moving forward. You never had to repeat things, they were always available, they took every bit of advice on board and grabbed every opportunity with a professionalism you don’t often see at that age.’
Chris and Luke’s big break was due to be an ongoing role in a Nine soap, The Coast, but the network passed on the series.
It would be Home and Away that would become Chris’ starting role, while Luke went on to Neighbours. Liam also had a short stint on Home and Away, before joining Neighbours.
Casting director Lou Mitchell added that ‘it was only a matter of time before somebody picked Chris up’ after the pilot for The Coast fell through.
‘Home and Away was exactly what Chris needed, because he had a lot of charisma, but he needed to go through that factory of learning on the job,’ she said.
‘Home and Away was exactly what Chris needed’: Casting director Lou Mitchell said the Seven soap became a perfect ‘factory of learning’ for the Hollywood actor to launch his career