Relishing the opportunity to role model the reality of a working mother for her kids, Pataky says her daughter India was particularly impressed with her mum’s toughness on-screen, especially as she and her brothers have grown up watching their dad be the family’s main action star.
“I loved being able to show [India] that nothing can stop you just because you’re a girl. You can be strong, you can do whatever you want. It used to be difficult to get these roles, but now it’s opening up. It was such a good opportunity to show her that.”
Her first hurdle, even before the months of gruelling training, was purely logistical – at least on the family front. Pataky and Hemsworth moved their family to Sydney, where both productions were taking place, bringing her mum (Cristina Pataky Medianu) in to help.
“My kids are used to me being at home, picking them up and things, but now I will be at work – which is something lots of people do! I really wanted this opportunity. And it’s not that bad, right?” she says in a tone that suggests – like so many working mums – that inevitable niggle of guilt still dances a little on her mind.
Pataky trained for nearly six months before the film began shooting – “Military-style training,” she says – for as much as four to six hours a day. “I’ve seen how much Chris works, and every actor who does these sorts of films.” But she shook off her doubts. “This would be my challenge,” she says.
The scenes from Interceptor are brutal but because the Hemsworth-Pataky kids have been on sets their whole lives they understand what’s real and what isn’t, and the couple have no issues showing them their films, Pataky explains.
“Being a mum is the hardest work of all – and there’s no awards for that. And then you do a movie and people are like, ‘Oh, wow!’ It’s kind of nice to feel appreciated – and to have your own thing that makes you feel like yourself,” Pataky explains.
Read the full interview in the June issue of marie claire Australia, on sale May 12.
Interceptor is out June 3 on Netflix.