Have no fear, the Huntsman is back and he wants you to know where he came from! Chris Hemsworth returns to the big screen in The Huntsman: Winter's War, the prequel/sequel to the hit movie Snow White and the Huntsman in which he starred opposite Kristen Stewart a few years back.
This time around, we find out a little about Eric the Huntsman's backstory and how he came to find the love of his life Sara, a fellow warrior who he grew up with. To find out how Eric and Sara came to be, we first have to find out why they became warriors int he first . Betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron), heartbroken Freya (Emily Blunt) retreats to a northern kingdom to raise an army of huntsmen as her protectors. Gifted with the ability to freeze her enemies in ice, Freya teaches her young soldiers to never fall in love. When Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) defy this rule, the angry queen does whatever she can to stop them and makes Sara believe that Eric ran away instead of fighting for her. Sara finds it impossible to believe that Eric has remained true to her all these years apart, and refuses to forgive him for what she believes he once did. When she is left with no other choice, she joins him on an epic journey; but she’d just as soon take a knife to his throat as she would trust him again. As the war between the siblings escalates, Eric and Sara unite with Freya to end Ravenna's wicked reign.
To say that Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain trained hard to prepare for their roles is an understatement. Known for beefing up for his role as the mighty Thor, Hemsworth spent many months in the gym transforming his body again for The Huntsman: Winter’s War, this time dropping 20 lbs. of his muscle. According to a recent article in Men's Health Magazine, the actor's slim-down exercise program included shadow-boxing while attached to high-resistance bungees, plenty of cardio and a very lean diet. He also loves to surf in his native Australia with his brothers, Liam and Luke, and his father. Hemsworth also had to spend a fair amount of time upping his weapons skills and getting reacquainted with using an axe, the Huntsman's natural weapon of choice.
As for Chastain, she not only had to learn how to fight but also learn to use weapons like axes, knives and a bow and arrow. Going up against Chris Hemsworth wasn't easy, especially due to the fact that he's six foot three so their fight scenes had to be carefully choreographed. The two-time Academy Award® nominee (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Martian”) met with a trainer in New York and after weeks of training, she felt as though she'd nailed the moves. "The last week I started training in the shoes that I wear [in the film], which have lifts in them — about four and a half inches," she recently told me during our interview in Los Angeles. "All of a sudden I put the boots on and I was like, 'Wow, this is really different. I even sustained a bit of a knee injury because wasn't overly confident in those lifts.
She gets to kick a whole lot more butt in this than she’s done in the past,” Hemsworth says. “Most of my work in the film is with Jessica. She has a great sense of humor, and we had a good amount of banter back and forth and we really had a lot of fun trying to one-up each other while making this film."
None of Hemsworth's female co-stars were damsels in distress and could very much hold their own opposite the action star. When I asked him how he dealt with all of the on the set he just laughed and said, “I endured more teasing by these gals then I did on the set of The Avengers.”
I recently spoke with Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain in Los Angeles about working on the film together, why they have such great chemistry and whether Jessica was able to reveal any dark secrets about her "perfect" co-star.
Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, The Huntsman: Winter’s War hits theaters on April 22.