In 'Thor: The Dark World,' Chris Hemsworth stars as the titular hero, on a mission to save the Nine Realms -- and his lady, Jane Foster, of course -- from total destruction at the hands of an evil Dark Elf. The latest Marvel film thunders into theaters this weekend and features an amazing cast, including Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, and more. Join us as we take a look back at the cast of the film way back before they were famous.

Chris Hemsworth, Thor

Red Heart/Marvel

Then: Chris Hemsworth played Kim Hyde on the Australian soap opera 'Home and Away' from 2004 to 2007. His notoriety from that show led to Hemsworth competing on Australia's 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2006. He made his debut in the US in 2009's 'Star Trek' as Captain James T. Kirk's father.

Now: Hemsworth plays Thor, the Marvel hero based on the Norse god of the same name. He also recently appeared in Ron Howard's period racing drama 'Rush,' and has reunited with Howard for 'Heart of the Sea.' Of course, he'll also reprise his role of Thor in 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' and presumably a 'Thor 3,' depending on the success of 'The Dark World.'

Natalie Portman, Jane Foster


Then: Natalie Portman made her acting debut in Luc Besson's 'The Professional' as a young girl taken in by a hit man when her parents are murdered. This led to roles in 'Beautiful Girls,' 'Mars Attacks!' and the 'Star Wars' prequels.

Now: Portman plays Jane Foster, a scientist and Thor's earthbound love interest in the 'Thor' films. You can also see her in the upcoming Western thriller 'Jane Got a Gun.'

Tom Hiddleston, Loki


Then: Tom Hiddleston starred in a ton of BBC dramas before he became a household name, including 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby' and 'The Gathering Storm' (pictured above, left).

Now: Hiddleston's first big American role was in 'Thor' as the hero's mischievous adopted brother, Loki. He reprises the role with zeal in 'Thor: The Dark World,' and also appears in Jim Jarmusch's upcoming vampire drama 'Only Lovers Left Alive' with Tilda Swinton. He recently replaced Benedict Cumberbatch in Guillermo del Toro's 'Crimson Peak,' and has roles in 'The Muppets Most Wanted' and 'The Pirate Fairy' (with Christina Hendricks) on the horizon.

Anthony Hopkins, Odin

New Line/Marvel

Then: Anthony Hopkins began his career as a stage actor, and parlayed those talents into roles on the big screen -- one of his first was as Richard I in 'The Lion in Winter,' with Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. He would go on to make Hannibal Lecter a household name in 'Silence of the Lambs' and its two sequels.

Now: Hopkins plays Odin, Thor's father and the ruling king of Asgard. He also recently starred in 'Red 2' and will appear in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic, 'Noah.'

Christopher Eccleston, Malekith


Then: Like Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston also got his start on the BBC drama circuit, with roles in 'Cracker' and 'Our Friends in the North' (with Daniel Craig!). But most fans remember him fondly as the Doctor on BBC's new 'Doctor Who' series. He's also appeared in the films 'Elizabeth,' 'Gone in 60 Seconds' and '28 Days Later.'

Now:  Eccleston plays Malekith, the ruler of the Dark Elves who has awakened from thousands of years of slumber to reclaim the Nine Realms. Outside of the Marvel realm, he was cast in Damon Lindelof's upcoming HBO rapture drama, 'The Leftovers.'

Kat Dennings, Darcy Lewis


Then: Kat Dennings made her acting debut on an episode of 'Sex and the City' as Jenny Brier, a snobby Bat Mitzvah brat. She also starred on the short-lived series 'Raising Dad,' but it wasn't until her role in Judd Apatow's 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' that audiences sat up and took notice.

Now: Dennings reprises the role of Darcy Lewis, Jane Foster's friend, intern and the film's comic relief. She also currently stars on the CBS sitcom '2 Broke Girls.'

Jaimie Alexander, Sif

Raw Feed/Marvel

Then: Jaimie Alexander's first role was in the horror film 'Rest Stop,' followed by a starring role on the television series 'Kyle XY.' She also guest starred on shows like 'Bones' and 'Nurse Jackie.'

Now: Alexander landed a seriously kick-ass role in 'Thor' as Sif, one of Thor's most trusted warrior allies. She reprises the role in 'Thor: The Dark World,' and there's recently been talk of Alexander meeting with Warner Bros. for one of their upcoming superhero films.

Rene Russo, Frigga


Then: Rene Russo made her big-screen debut in the sports comedy 'Major League,' and followed it up with roles in 'Outbreak,' 'Get Shorty' and 'Ransom.'

Now: Russo took a break from acting after appearing in the 2005 films 'Two for the Money' and 'Yours, Mine and Ours.' She resurfaced in 2011 to play Frigga, wife of Odin and mother of Thor, and reprises the role in 'Thor: The Dark World.'