While hordes of Chris Hemsworth fans might be eagerly awaiting the release of the upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, the actor is currently doing press for another big-budget movie, the speculative thriller Spiderhead which has just dropped on Netflix. And in an innovative (and increasingly unnerving) stroke of marketing, Hemsworth has lent his dulcet Australian accent to a guided meditation video to help promote the film.
And it gets weird as hell.
“Relax your shoulders, exhale intention with every breath,” he says. “Allow your thoughts to drift. Listen to my voice.”
So far so normal, right?
“Imagine roots growing from where your feet touch the ground,” Hemsworth continues. “Trapping you. You can’t move. Unable to run. Get lost in the forest of your thoughts and the stuttering of your heartbeat. You are surrounded by trees and they’re watching you through a prison of mirrors. Feel their eyes on you, searching, crawling up your body slowly, examining you, questioning you.”
This is all starting to sound less like a mindfulness exercise and more like an attempt by the actor to hypnotize you, or maybe induct you into some kind of cult. It almost makes you wonder what kind of meditations he’s offering on that Centr wellness app.
“Their gaze creeps over you like a spider, starting from your toes, all the way to the top of your head,” Hemsworth continues. “Crawling, crawling, it bores a hole through you, seeing right through to your fears, your uncertainties. You want to turn from their gaze but the shackle on your ankle, your roots, plant you firmly in place. When you feel your fear has overtaken you, and you’re certain there is no escape, open your eyes.”
It’s rare to finish a meditation session feeling more anxious and stressed out than you were before, so that’s an accomplishment on Hemsworth’s part, at least. It’s also a pretty effective way to pique intrigue about the movie. Based on the short story ‘Escape from Spiderhead’ by George Saunders, it follows a number of prisoners who volunteer to be subjects in a mysterious experiment at a remote facility in order to reduce their sentence time. Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller and Lovecraft Country‘s Jurnee Smollett star alongside Hemsworth.
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