“We Need Those Memories,” Chris Hemsworth Met His 87-Year-Old Wife in Case He Develops Alzheimer’s, and Things Got Emotional
While working on the docuseries Limitless, Hemsworth was given the opportunity to confront his mortality by taking several genetic tests. One of the tests revealed that the Thor star has a predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, meaning he’s 8-10 times more likely to develop it than the average person.
Following the revelation, Hemsworth announced he’d be taking a temporary work hiatus to spend more time with his family. He explained that the memories he creates with his loved ones will be ultimately more important, as he’s terrified of the prospect of these moments eventually fading. He said, “The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life I’ve experienced, or my wife, my kids — this is probably my biggest fear.”
Hemsworth’s wife showed him that he doesn’t have to go through it all by himself.
Elsa Pataky, Hemsworth’s wife of nearly 13 years and mother of his 3 children, showed up for a special and emotional episode of Limitless. Hemsworth mentioned that he has a fear of aging, which was only further reinforced by his health discovery, so the show’s team came up with a plan. Pataky was aged 50 years with the help of special VFX makeup to surprise her husband and capture his genuine reaction. She mentioned that she felt really vulnerable and did not want Hemsworth to see her like this, but she went through with the bit anyway.
Hemsworth was told he was meeting an older fan at a dance event for seniors, but instead, he ended up on a blind date with his 87-year-old wife. The actor instantly recognized Pataky and even got teary-eyed. The couple admitted to each other that seeing such a change without the years building up to it was very challenging. Pataky said to her husband, “I want to live those years with you. We need those memories.”
The famous actor appreciated the cathartic moment, as it made him realize that getting older is a natural way of things, and as long as he has the love of his life along the way, he’ll be okay. Hemsworth explained, “I think what is quite confronting is approaching that age on my own. What makes it less scary is having someone to experience it with, having people around you that you love — it makes me feel a lot more accepting.”
Ultimately, Pataky believes that even if her husband does develop Alzheimer’s, he won’t forget this moment. So even if at one point he stops recognizing her face, there’s hope he can retain the memory of his wife as her older version. Pataky shared, “I think this moment, we will remember forever. It was so deep, so unexpected, I felt safe, it was so beautiful.”
Do you know anyone with Alzheimer’s? Would you want to take the same test to check how likely you are to develop it?