Chris Hemsworth reveals his 'Extraction 2' workout regimen: 'I needed to be way more athletic'

The "Thor" star needed to overhaul his fitness routine to get in "Extraction" shape.

Chris Hemsworth puts himself through a major workout in the Netflix action hit, Extraction 2. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)
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By any conceivable metric, Chris Hemsworth is in great shape. But coming off of Thor: Love and Thunder, the Australian actor wasn't in the right shape for Extraction 2, the sequel to his 2020 action hit for Netflix. "I needed to be way more athletic," Hemsworth tells Yahoo Entertainment, in what initially sounds like a completely incongruous statement given his fitness-heavy Instagram feed.

Allow Hemsworth to explain: "I'd just come off the back of Thor, where a lot of my workouts were body building, aesthetic sculpting and body shaping," he says, referring to how he bulked up to god-like proportions in the most recent Thor-quel. But playing Extraction 2's rock 'em sock 'em mercenary, Tyler Rake, requires a different skill set — one that emphasizes physical stamina to keep up with the long takes of wall-to-wall fighting that director Sam Hargrave had planned for his star.

Watch our interview with the Extraction 2 cast on YouTube

"I did a lot more cardio training, a lot more functionality, movement and flexibility," Hemsworth says of his workout change-up. "And then we would shoot for 12 to 14 hour days on top of the rehearsals after work and on weekends. The preparation was just to immerse yourself in the rehearsal and stunt choreography as much as possible."

All that cardio paid off in Extraction 2's signature set-piece: a 21-minute action sequence that starts off as a jail break, turns into a car chase and then hops to a runaway train that's being strafed by helicopter fire. Oh yeah, and the whole thing is edited together to give it the appearance of one seamless take without any obvious on-screen cuts.

"I was so excited the first time Sam pitched it to me — as well as terrified," Hemsworth laughs while remembering the initial discussions around the scene, which has already gone viral since the film's premiere on June 16. "I knew it was gonna be amazing, but also this huge mountain to climb."

From a directing standpoint, Hargrave says that the idea of an action-packed 21-minute "oner" wouldn't have been possible before the advent of digital cameras. "Because of the size of the cameras keep getting smaller and smaller, and the resolution greater and greater ... it allowed us to film things from a point of view that you may not have been able to do ten or fifteen years ago," the filmmaker explains. "You're not running out of film, so you can shoot very long, continuous sequences. The technological advances have helped in terms of storytelling."

Hemsworth and Tinatin Dalakishvili in Extraction 2. (Photo: Jasin Boland/Netflix)
Hemsworth and Tinatin Dalakishvili in Extraction 2. (Photo: Jasin Boland/Netflix) (Jasin Boland/Netflix)

Naturally, there are cuts hidden throughout the 21-minute scene, although both Hargrave and Hemsworth happily challenge viewers to spot where those cuts occur. "We should put it up online and have people vote on where the cuts happen," the director jokes. Not for nothing, but the "oner" that the duo staged in the first Extraction managed to fool an action movie veteran like Mad Max mastermind, George Miller, who directed Hemsworth in the upcoming Fury Road prequel, Furiosa.

"George [said] 'I couldn't find the stitches,'" Hemsworth marvels. "I was blown away by that. I think Sam did such an incredible job at blending each sequence to feel like it's one continuous shot."

One of the demands of "oners" is that the slightest error in choreography requires a from-the-top restart of any given section. And that's something that Hemsworth's co-stars, Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Bessa — who play Tyler's fellow mercenaries and onscreen siblings, Nik and Yaz — experienced regularly. "Every take, something was messed up," Farahani says. "And you can also be a part of messing up!"

"You're already ashamed," Bessa adds when asked if those who messed up would shoulder any additional blame. "Because you know how complicated it is for everybody, so when you messed it up, it was like, 'Oh f***!'"

Tyler seemed to perish at the end of the original Extraction — a death that's undone in the opening minutes of Extraction 2. But the sequel does feature a death that Bessa promises is permanent... his own. Yaz sustains a fatal wound during a different action sequence midway through the movie, and his loss has caused audiences to literally tear up.

"The moment where he gets shot, the audience was like, 'Oh no!'" Farahani remembers of the way moviegoers reacted at the premiere. "They cared for him, and didn't want him to die. I didn't like it at all, either!" In fact, the actress reveals that Nik was supposed to die during the film as well, but she argued her way into a reprieve. "I said, 'Guys, one is enough,'" Farahani says, laughing.

But Bessa, at least, isn't mourning Yaz's loss. "To be honest, my own death really excited me," he enthuses. "You get attached to Yaz, and so his death serves the film. And you have to be realistic: considering what they go through, one of them has to die!"

And considering the stellar streaming numbers for Extraction 2, Yaz could easily return in a prequel. "There's definitely something to explore in our backstories," Bessa teases. "That would be amazing — we could go back in time!" All in one shot, of course.

Extraction 2 is currently streaming on Netflix