In this week’s issue of Variety, Chris Hemsworth talks about the evolution of his character Thor in “Avengers: Endgame.”

The latest and 22nd Marvel superhero movie, which has grossed a staggering $2.7 billion worldwide, surprised audiences with a different Thor. As an Avenger in exile, the Norse God of Thunder sports a scraggly beard and a potbelly.

Hemsworth tells Variety that he relished the transformation. “Physically, it was a good three hours in hair and makeup,” he says in our cover story. “Then the prosthetic suit, particularly for the shirt-off scene, that was a big silicone that weighed about 90 pounds. It was certainly exhausting. I had weights on my hands and ankles just to have my arms and legs swing differently when I shuffled along through the set.”

On set, Hemsworth called himself “Lebowski Thor,” a reference to the slacker played by Jeff Bridges in the Coen brothers comedy. Originally, Thor was supposed to revert back to his old chiseled self in the middle of “Endgame,” but Hemsworth fought to keep his pear-shaped body. “I enjoyed that version of Thor,” he says. “It was so different than any other way I played the character.”

Some of his co-stars teased him between takes. “People just kept coming up and cuddling me like a big bear or rubbing my belly like I was pregnant,” Hemsworth says. “Or trying to sit on my lap like I was Santa Claus. You get a lot of affection. I felt like an old man, an old grandpa, with a bunch of kids around.”

For more about Hemsworth’s journey to movie stardom, including his new role in “Men in Black: International,” click here.