Welcome to TV Guide’s 12 Days of Chris-Mas, a festive celebration of famous dudes named Chris. Every day leading up to Dec. 25, we will honor a single Chris, counting down to the best Chris of the year. Today, that honor goes to Chris Hemsworth, the No. 1 Chris.
Of all the incredibly attractive actors named Chris, the man at the top of TV Guide’s 12 Days of Chris-mas list, Chris Hemsworth, is probably the easiest Chris to get along with. I don’t say this because I know him or have met him or have even been in his general vicinity, I’ve just spent a lot of time watching his interviews (check out the ones with Chris Evans when they’re on the Avengers press circuit for a really fun time) and following him on social media where he posts delightfully fun videos on Instagram that reveal his inherent charm. And after all that exhaustive research, I’ve concluded that of all the Hollywood Chrises, Hemsworth is not only the Best Chris of 2018, but also the Chris I’d most like to get a beer with.
No longer being pigeonholed by Hollywood as the Hunk — though he’s still fulfilling many of those duties simply because he is, in fact, quite hunky — Hemsworth has been able to branch out in his roles of late. He’s put his infectious sense of humor to great use on-screen, as evidenced by last year’s Thor: Ragnarok (which is definitely the most rewatchable Marvel movie if not necessarily the greatest; that honor goes to The Winter Soldier, don’t @ me). But he’s also used this newfound freedom to show off in other roles, like as a charismatic cult leader in this year’s thrilling Bad Times at the El Royale. Through it all, Hemsworth’s natural charisma has been unleashed in a way we’ve never really gotten to see before.
And when you combine that with A) the laid-back personality you’d expect from an avid surfer who went out on his board with his daughter on his back, and B) what is frankly an unfair level of handsomeness, Chris Hemsworth should probably be the Chris You Most Want to Punch in the Face for Being an Objectively Perfect Human Specimen. Instead, his qualities actually have the opposite effect and only draw you in more; they make him the Chris You Desperately Want to Hang Out With.
Sure, you could hang out and get a beer with some of the other Chrises — I would absolutely get a beer and watch sports with Evans, provided he doesn’t force me to watch the Patriots, talk about the Patriots, or think about the Patriots — but Hemsworth’s appeal isn’t just that he’s funny or charming, it’s that he comes off as a regular dude who likes to go to the beach and goof off and share all of that with his friends (and fans). It’s almost as if he is unaware of the fact he’s one of the biggest stars of one of the biggest movie franchises in history. He’s so at ease in everything he does, and he’s so full of childlike wonder while doing it, that you sometimes have to wonder if he didn’t plan any of this but rather stumbled in front of a camera by accident one day and just decided to keep going because he didn’t have anything better to do.
When you compare Hemsworth’s seemingly natural ease in the public eye to that of other Chrises like Evans or Pine, the latter of whom isn’t on social media, it’s easy to see he’s far more comfortable and far less protective of himself. That’s not to say he isn’t protective of certain aspects of his life — he recently spoke to GQ about having to protect his children from paparazzi — or that he isn’t actively aware of what he’s doing and how it’s going to be perceived. Rather, as a celebrity, he’s managed to find a magical sweet spot that allows him to be open just enough that people feel like they know him and could get a drink with him instead of being overly curated to the point that any semblance of reality has been eliminated from the picture. In contrast to Chris Pratt, whose frank presence on social media has created backlash, Hemsworth’s relative openness draws people in. It has also allowed Hemsworth to usurp the title formerly held by Pratt of being the most affable, funny Chris in the process.
So, meeting up with Hemsworth for a beer at the local bar probably isn’t going to end in an argument about politics or who the best quarterback is in the NFL; rather, it’s more likely to end up as a great time because you’re hanging out with a fun-loving guy who’s going to make you laugh without even trying, like when he’s hanging out with his kids and jamming to Miley Cyrus, who is dating his brother Liam; shaving his stuntman Bobby, like any good friend would do; generally bringing joy to your life for no reason; working out in a field shirtless; or practicing to wave the flag at the Indy 500 (give this the Oscar for Best Documentary [Short Subject]).
Although his evolution has naturally and obviously been a years-long process, this year officially saw Chris Hemsworth’s role in Hollywood go from the Hunky Chris to the Most Easy Going Chris, and if you ask us, also the Best Chris. You cannot deny this transformation was certainly helped along by Hemsworth’s charm, but it’s also because of his impressive ability to cultivate an image via social media, which has allowed fans to connect with him in a way few Chrises are open to.
Perhaps in addition to naming him the year’s Best Chris we should also name Hemsworth the Most Surprising Chris, too, because I’m not sure how many people saw this evolution coming when he first arrived in Hollywood as the God of Thunder in 2011.