Director Taika Waititi added a gratuitous shirtless Chris Hemsworth scene to 'Thor: Ragnarok' to put 'bums on seats'

Kevin Polowy

Thor: Ragnarok is the third standalone adventure featuring Marvel’s Asgardian God of Thunder — and also the third Thor movie (after 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World) to feature a gratuitous shot of star Chris Hemsworth sans shirt for an extended scene.

But that’s not how Hemsworth planned it. “This time around, there wasn’t one in the script, and I was like, ‘Thank God,’” the actor told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above) at the film’s Los Angeles press day. “And then [director] Taika Waititi came up to me and was said, ‘Ah, I feel like we got to put it in there. Come on, let’s be gratuitous and see some skin. ’”

Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) corroborated Hemworth’s account: “I was like, ‘Chris you gotta take your shirt off,’” the filmmaker explained. “I’m like, ‘Do you want bums on seats?’”

(Hemsworth and Waititi are both from the same corner of the globe — Australia and New Zealand, respectively — and, for the record, “bums on seats” means “butts on seats.” Just so there’s no confusion.)

You can now call it a trend. As Hemsworth stated at the top of the interview, he was asked by Thor director Kenneth Branagh to do a “shirt off” scene in the first film, and Hemsworth told MTV in 2013 that Marvel consigliere Joss Whedon suggested they add a similar sequence to Dark World.

For Ragnarok, it doesn’t look like they need any help putting bums on seats: The threequel is already tracking for a monster $100 million-plus opening.

And Waititi promises even more topless Thor on the Blu-ray: “On the DVD you can expect of an extra DVD of just that,” he said. “An entire disc. Four hours of him [shirtless]. Slow motion, black and white, black and chrome, full color, Imax version, iPhone version.”

He might not be kidding.

Thor: Ragnarok opens Nov. 3. Watch the trailer:

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