With a slate of upcoming films that includes Ghostbusters, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Thor: Ragnarok, Australian Adonis Chris Hemsworth certainly has a lot of work in front of him in the next year or so. Should he require any extra motivation during the tedious press junkets for these movies, he can always find it in pop song lyrics. During a recent interview on BBC Radio 1, perennial good sport Hemsworth consented to lend his sonorous, godlike voice to a spoken-word rendition of “Work,” Rihanna’s new duet with Drake. As Rihanna herself has explained, the song is written in Jamaican Patois and uses numerous slang expressions from the Caribbean. And now, those selfsame expressions are incongruously emerging from the mouth of Thor himself. To summarize, an Australian actor famous for playing a Norse god is dramatically reciting the lyrics of a slangy, sexually charged duet between two singers, one Barbadian and the other Canadian.
“It drummed up a whole lot of feelings,” Hemsworth said of the experience. “Emotions and past experiences. It makes you just want to get to work.” That’s no surprise, as the word “work” appears 18 times in the recitation. Somewhat ironically, however, the song’s origins lie not in work but in play. As producer Allen Ritter explained to Genius recently, “Work” was originally conceived at one of Drake’s pool parties. Sadly, the party’s guest list does not seem to have included Hemsworth. His invitation might have gotten lost in the mail. Now, though, the world has two versions of “Work” to cherish: the sultry original and the quasi-Shakespearean remake.