He smites the bad guys as a hammer-wielding Norse god in The Avengers, fights off a terrorist hacker in the upcoming cyber thriller, Blackhat, and battles with In the Heart of the Sea, but People Magazine says there was no contest when it came to naming Aussie Chris Hemsworth this year's Sexiest Man Alive.

The actor, 31, thought it was "pretty funny" when he first heard the news – as did his wife, Spanish model Elsa Pataky, 38, whom he wed in 2010.

He told People... "I think you've bought me a couple of weeks of bragging rights around the house,"....."I can just say to her, 'Now remember, this is what the people think, so I don't need to do the dishes anymore, I don't need to change nappies. I'm above that. I've made it now.' "