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Liam Hemsworth says he no longer bases his career decisions on what the press say about his personal life, having spent years learning to swerve the “paparazzi bullshit” that has a habit of following him around.

Liam may have followed a certain Chris to Los Angeles – but he’s creating his own path, flying into the year’s most anticipated blockbuster, Independence Day: Resurgence and living a laid-back life. With or without Miley.

On a recent Monday, Liam Hemsworth was engaged to Miley Cyrus. Come Friday, it was said to be over. That weekend she was pictured riding shotgun in a white Maserati through Malibu, near where she lives, with a “mystery man”. Later, she dined with Chris Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky, at the elevated West Hollywood haunt Soho House.

We’re not sure whether she had the kale and ricotta salata or helped herself to the buffet – both are worthy, the latter perhaps a little too meaty for the young vegan popette – but the luncheon suggested that she was, “obviously”, set to soon skip down the aisle with the Aussie actor.

What a fucking circus. Little wonder the kid sat opposite GQ today – and at 26, he is still a kid – shields himself from the daily tabloid dribble; that god-awful faux-journalism that attempts to ‘reveal’ the goings-on of his personal life.

He didn’t always. He was younger – less clear about the game. Because it is a game. An idiotic, race-to-the-bottom game where editors and their sty of hacks deliver muck masquerading as fact – churning headlines and copy that make about as much sense as Ricky Gervais’ New Romantic pop period. Or anyone still attending Coachella.

Lowering himself to this level brought the young Hemsworth pain. He made choices, he admits, on the basis of what was written. It’s not a mistake he’d make today.

“I don’t read or listen to the press – and these days I don’t base my decisions on it at all. I base all my decisions on what’s happening in front of me and I’m much happier by doing that.”

This is all delivered with a slight wince – Hemsworth’s bare toes scraping his unease into the grass under foot, his gaze locked on the brilliant spring sun that’s melting into a nearby hill separating us from Malibu’s Zuma Beach.

We’re minutes from his home – a sprawling $8.7m gated estate that delivers further happiness, far removed from the bullshit (save for the occasional swirling helicopter stacked with salivating crew) that cloaks the life of any acknowledged, city-based actor attempting anonymity.

It means the Neighbours alum (he played wheelchair-bound ‘ladies’ man’ Josh Taylor between 2007-08) can spend time in the garden, digging about in the various plots he’s keen to foster, tinker on the deck, or relax with friends at frequent weekend barbecues. It’s removed.

It’s something he truly cherishes. It recalls the simplicity of his younger years in Australia – a formative period spent on Victoria’s Phillip Island, an isolated, close-knit community that doesn’t gladly suffer intrusion.

Malibu is also where the eldest Hemsworth, Luke, lives with his wife and three children, “just down there”. It’s home to middle brother Chris when he’s in LA, too, having recently ‘downsized’ to a pad that’d still smack a smile across the face of anyone with real estate dreams.

“Living here is just so much better for my mind,” says the youngster – boyish, bearded and casually dressed in an oil-grey T-shirt and jeans. His shoes sit by the front door of the borrowed ’50s Malibu bungalow, where they’ve spent the entirety of today’s GQ shoot.

“I grew up by the beach, surfing, and I’m much more conditioned to that sort of lifestyle… I wanted to get back to the beach, I needed it, to be by the water and to be able to go surfing.”

He says it’s calming. Better than the throbbing cityscape he called home on first landing in LA nearly seven years ago.

Miley, too, has recently entered Malibu’s 90265 postcode – said to have purchased the property adjacent to his.

Again, Hemsworth squints into the distance. The pair were once engaged, having met, and kissed for the cameras, on 2010’s light romantic piece The Last Song. Liam was just 20.

“I guess when I feel something, then I just feel it and I go for it,” he says of their relationship. “I make my decisions about what’s going to make me happy, what I think is right and what I want to do – and I don’t worry too much outside of that.”

The split came in 2013.

“Of course it was hard, man. But at the time we were going in different directions and it’s just what needed to happen. We were both super young and it was a good decision at the time – we both needed that.”

As for today’s state of play (yeah, OK, we went there): “People will figure it out, they already have… They’re not dumb.”

With the spotlight and speculation comes acute maturation. There’s the Miley scenario, sure, but also the heat that radiated from being attached to The Hunger Games and its various cinematic arrows. Crazy is how Hemsworth describes it.

“We had an idea coming into it [that it would be big] as the books had such a massive fan base, like Twilight. So we knew people would see it. But when we did the first press tour – that was when it really hit. We’d do premieres all over the world and they were just mind-blowing.”

Memories of a particular launch in Rome shout loudest.

“It was unlike anything I’d ever done before – it was this massive football stadium, like this amphitheatre, and the three of us [Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson] were just standing there in the middle of it all. And leading up to it was a hundred metres of red carpet and these security guys holding up the fence as the fans were pushing it over and trying to climb and come in over the top… it’s like Zombieland, stuff like that is just really crazy.”

“You turn up and it happens so fast, you have all this adrenaline and then you get back in the car, it’s dead silent and you wonder what the fuck just happened.”

What happened was overnight visibility. Intangible global interest. It made the youngster retreat.

“Definitely – especially when you start to first experience the paparazzi bullshit. You’re less inclined to go to public places.”

Going out led to difficulty – namely an unwanted video on TMZ. The place was Philadelphia where a couple of muppets decided to rain rocks on Hemsworth as he left a bar. He retaliated, the ensuing scuffle and powerful blows from his right fist caught on a twitchy camera.

“It was silly, drunk stuff and it’s kind of why I don’t go out anymore, I prefer to get real loose in my own house and have people come to me. When I’m drunk, like anyone, I don’t think straight or make the best decisions. You don’t see it in the video, but that guy tackled me pretty good… Not that I condone fighting, of course, um, do it in a cage, like in the UFC.”

This winter, Hemsworth will again face the spotlight as a central player in the updated Independence Day outing, Resurgence. He feels he’s ready. More mature. The skin’s a bit thicker. The silliness now a little more laughable.

Read the full interview in the June/July issue of GQ Australia out June 6. Independence Day: Resurgence is in cinemas June 23.

Source: GQ Australia

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- Liam Hemsworth, ambassador

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  • Please note: I do not post paparazzi stalking pictures or post rumours. We are here to support Liam through his career. His personal life is his own business.