Dr. Todd Schroeder, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, has unveiled the methods through which some of the MCU’s most muscular on-screen heroes achieve their superhuman strength, confirming what many of us had speculated…
Few actors are blessed with the natural god-given genetics to play an actual Norse God quite like Chris Hemsworth. The Australian actor, known for constantly evolving his training routine to maintain his superhero physique, wasn’t always the perfect choice to play the iconic character in Marvel’s fledgling cinematic universe.
It’s surprising, given the meteoric rise of an actor who once graced Australian TV screens on soap operas such as Neighbours and Home and Away. In Hollywood, Hemsworth was known as the “skinny Australian surfer”, and although Thor director Kenneth Branagh knew he had found his leading man during a series of auditions, Hemsworth had a lot of muscle to build if he was going to successfully portray the God of Thunder.
Of course, there have long been rumours about Hemsworth and other Marvel actors concerning repeated steroid use to prepare for roles in the MCU, and Dr. Todd Schroeder has revealed it’s more prevalent than you might think.
“I would say that fifty to seventy-five percent do,” Dr. Schroeder said to Vanity Fair. “Nowadays, it’s kind of expected and, working under a doctor’s care, it’s [taking steroids] really been accepted. A lot of actors won’t talk about it openly, but they will work with a physician as well as a nutritionist and a trainer, and it’s a team. It’s not smart for an actor to do that alone.”
While Dr. Schroeder refrains from explicitly mentioning specific Hollywood actors whom he suspects of using performance enhancers, he does express empathy for those actors who might rely on such methods.
“I would say that fifty to seventy-five percent do.”Dr. Todd Schroeder, University of Southern California
Schroeder highlights the tremendous pressure actors endure in order to sustain superhuman physiques for numerous successive movies, leading to the question: If the means are accessible, why wouldn’t actors consider using steroids?
“There’s long-term health concerns, but short-term, there really isn’t,” Dr. Schroeder said to Vanity Fair. “So if you’re preparing for a role, and you’re going to get paid ten million dollars to look a certain way for a role? Then why wouldn’t you do it under a doctor’s care? Take some things that aren’t natural but will change your body to look the way they want it to look, and gets you the recognition?”
However, Dr. Todd Schroeder does maintain that he doesn’t believe that Chris Hemsworth’s transformation is the result of steroid use and instead commends the Australian actor’s genetics for building his superhero frame.
“He’s always been in really good shape. His family, his genetics—they all, if they work out a little bit, they get in really good shape, and so he’s taken it to the next level. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, he does steroids, for sure.’ And my opinion? I would say, ‘No, he does not.’”