Elsa Pataky on 'working twice as hard' with husband Chris Hemsworth in '12 Strong'

By Marie Chalita

Chris Hemsworth's real-life leading lady joined him on screen for the first time in the film 12 Strong, an experience that the actor and wife Elsa Pataky thoroughly enjoyed. The story follows the 12 special forces soldiers sent to Afghanistan following the September 11th terrorist attacks, and Elsa plays her husband of seven years's on-screen wife.

“He made me work twice as hard,” Elsa, 41, tells HOLA! USA. “That’s what we do when we work together." However, one part of the movie that wasn't a challenge were the couple's love scenes. "The romantic scenes were not difficult at all," she laughed. Below, the blonde beauty fills us in on her on-set experience, preparing for the role and her own experience with September 11.

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Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth on the Red Carpet of the Golden Globes
Chris, 34, and Elsa, who share daughter India, five, and three-year-old twin sons, Sasha and Tristian, star together in the new film 12 Strong

Was it difficult to work with your own husband for the first time, especially in such an emotional role?
He was very pleasant to work with. I believe that together we draw the best from one another. Although the challenge becomes higher, but it was gratifying, since we were away from our children in order to concentrate on work. Of course, the romantic scenes were not difficult at all...[laughs]. It was very interesting, we had a great time and hopefully we can do it again.

MORE: Chris Hemsworth on working with wife Elsa Pataky 'It felt like a little holiday'

What does playing this role mean to you?
The story attracted me a lot. It is a strong script based on real life. In addition, based on events that not everyone knows. All this happened right after 9/11 and I think it is important that people are aware. I like to represent all those women who also play the hero role by letting go of their husbands without knowing what is going to happen to them. Staying alone with the children without knowing if their husbands are going to go back one day...or not. It is very hard and it was important [for me] to pay honour to them.

Instagram: Chris Hemsworth huddles with his 3 daughters outdoors
Elsa noted that her husband made her "work twice as hard"

How do you prepare for a role like this?
I read a lot and studied. But at the end of the day, I am a mother and I am a woman and I know what it feels like when my husband goes away for work. I know there’s no comparison to this, so I cannot imagine what these women go through when their husbands sacrifice so much and they have to back them up. We never really know what’s going on with those women and their children, or how they feel.

Do you think that you would ever be able to be the wife of someone who serves in the armed forces?
I wouldn’t. That's why I admire them even more. These film sequences between Chris and I really have been very hard. I can't imagine how difficult it is for them in real life. Of course, they were committed to this when they married them. Many knew there would be a sacrifice and that to me is worthy of admiration.

MORE: Chris Hemsworth says wife Elsa Pataky has sacrificed a lot for him

Where were you on September 11 and what do you remember about that day?
"I was traveling in the car. We went to the south I believe, someone sent us a text that [there] had been a terrorist attack in New York and we stopped at the first bar to see the scenes on TV and we were all in shock. We thought this was false, we didn't know what to say. I believe that today we all remember those moments of so much pain."

12 Strong opens in theaters January 19

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