09/19/2013 11:35 am ET

Chris Hemsworth Dropped 30 Pounds For 'Rush'


"Thor" hunk Chris Hemsworth might play a bro in "Rush," Ron Howard's excellent new and mostly true movie about the 1976 Formula 1 season, but that doesn't mean he didn't have to shed some pounds before jumping in a race car.

Hemsworth plays James Hunt, a British F1 driver whose rivalry with Austrian Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Bruhl) made for one of sports' most epic -- and dangerous -- tête-à-têtes. In a Thursday appearance on "Today," Hemsworth told Savannah Guthrie he lost 30 pounds for the role.

Apparently fitting into an F1 car is quite difficult for someone with superhero physique. "The first thing Ron said to me was, 'I don't know if Thor's going to fit into a race car," Hemsworth said. "I went from 215 pounds from a Thor weight down to about 195 to be able to fit in. But the character that I played is about the same height and physique and also had a hard time getting in."

The hard work has been paying off, with "Rush" sitting at a 90 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes a week ahead of its Sept. 27 release.

For more, head over to Today. A gallery of other stars who slimmed down for roles is available below.



Actors Who've Gotten Skeletal For Roles