Chris Hemsworth, a man so flawless it has spawned conspiracy theories that he's actually an alien invader or some sort of lab creation, is a radiant comedy hero in this month's Vacation. Hemsworth plays Stone, Rusty Griswold's brother-in-law, a born-and-bred Texan meteorologist (a role seemingly not much of a reach for the Australian actor, whose skill at accents is on full display). But it's not his chiseled abs or flowing locks that most steal the scene — it's Chris Hemsworth's massive, foot-long prosthetic penis. It makes him perhaps the most well-endowed man in the history of cinema, and it renders other characters on screen (and I assume the actors who play them) totally speechless. But how did the naked Hemsworth Vacation scene come together?
It's not much of a spoiler to say that the "appendage" is not real. But the story behind the prosthetic is definitely more interesting than any feat of biology could be — as Bustle previously reported, director John Francis Daley had a few size options for Hemsworth to try out. "There was a conversation about the size and shape of his appendage," he said, adding that it was “one of the weirder moments" in his experience directing the film alongside Jonathan Goldstein. Just three dudes, alone in a bedroom, trying on prosthetic penises, quite literally, for size.
Hemsworth, best known for superhero flicks and dramatic roles, was untested in comedy, but he proved himself playing the straight man in the bedroom scene that shows off, hi-def genitalia. Co-star Christina Applegate told ETOnline that the scene would have been less funny if Hemsworth had been trying too hard, and instead, “He was playing it as if he was fully clothed."
Though Stone appears in several earlier scenes while the Griswolds stop over at his Texas home, his character arc really builds towards this scene in particular. In an Entertainment Weekly character preview, the actor (reportedly a huge fan of the original film) recalls that, upon first reading the script, it seemed like an opportunity to do something completely different. Hemsworth's red carpet interviews since the film's release have been endearingly awkward — it seems that the star still hasn't figured out how to manage the inevitable comment, “You have a lot to live up to" that comes when discussing the scene.
In an interview with E!, he described how the bedroom scene came together explaining that "It's part of the character development. But unlike the development of Applegate's character Debbie, which was all about defying the norms of a supporting female character in comedy, Hemsworth's development was all physical. "Whether it was this," (he held his hands out in the interview) "this," (a bigger gesture) "or this," (the biggest gesture — presumably the size they ended up choosing). Applegate hypothesized to E! that the final product is now in the Smithsonian Museum.
"We went bold," he continued. "Big and bold." He reported that he himself couldn't do the scene at first without laughing, though his co-stars have said that no one could make it through the scene while keeping a straight face. Fortunately, Ed Helms, who plays Rusty, was off-screen for much of the action and could laugh it out. Hemsworth wasn't so lucky — the camera is on his face, or a bit further south, for most of the scene.
Helms and Goldstein have both quipped that they're the model off of whom the 10-inch prosthetic is based, a joke that was just begging for someone to make it. It shows that no one involved, including Hemsworth, is taking the whole affair to seriously, and why would they? Stone is just a warm — albeit very well-endowed — Texas host, helping his guests figure out the television remote and flashing them along the way.
Images: Warner Bros. Studios (3)