The Huntsman: Winter’s War hits theaters this Friday, with Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as Eric, a warrior willing to do anything for love. And while watching the Australian actor fight for romance onscreen is enough to make us swoon, it’s Hemsworth’s real-life good-guy vibes that keep us coming back for more.
Off-camera, the star plays hero to his three kids with wife Elsa Pataky: 3-year-old daughter India Rose and 2-year-old twin sons, Sasha and Tristan. But with a busy filming schedule, striking the perfect balance between work and family time isn’t always easy. “It’s all a bit of a juggling act at times,” Hemsworth told InStyle when discussing a recent charitable auction for his film's premiere. “You have to prioritize what’s most important.”
For Hemsworth and Pataky, that's been managable so far. “We’ve been lucky,” he said. “We’ve been able to travel a lot together, and I don’t think either one of us has been at a disadvantage at all. As long as we put in the work and make the effort, it all seems to kind of pan out.” And that means making big decisions—career and otherwise—together as opportunities arise.
“I think you’ve just got to roll with it,” said Hemsworth. “It’s hard to turn down work when it’s there, because it’s a roller coaster of a business and who knows what’s going to happen around the corner. So you take it while you can, and I’ve got a great family to support me during that.”
Of course, it helps that he and Pataky—who's also an actor—are on the same page in terms of their career goals. “I think the fact that we’re both a part of the business has made it easier to roll with everything that might be thrown at us through this sort of work,” said Hemsworth. “Mutual support and love are the most important things—and that goes hand-in-hand when it comes to both your partner and your children.”
Those are key elements in Hemsworth’s approach to being a good dad, and he also looks back to his own childhood for inspiration. “Most of my parenting is based on the fact that I was given that same road by my parents,” he said. And that includes teaching his kids to give back to the community—just as his parents taught him to do. “It would be great if they were charitable,” Hemsworth said of his children. “But I think you’ve got to lead by example.”
So he’s doing just that. “My parents gave us a loving and supporting environment to grow up in, which gave us the confidence to go out and chase crazy dreams like being an actor,” Hemsworth said of his upbringing with brothers Liam and Luke. “A lot of kids don’t have that support, and so I think providing my kids with a similar environment to what we grew up in gives them that confidence and allows them to become happy, healthy people.”
It also involves plenty of quality family bonding time—and avoiding checking e-mail off-hours. “I try to stay off my phone as much as I can, because as soon as I pick it up there will be e-mails and work duties to get into,” he said. “I spend enough time on it as it is—and I’ve got three kids, so there’s not much time for games.” Hemsworth may not be squeezing in the occasional round of Candy Crush, but another family member still manages to have some fun on his phone. “I do have a bunch of kids’ games on there for my daughter,” he said. Awww.