Smack dab in between Marvel movies, Chris Hemsworth played a rebooted version of “Janine” in Paul Feig’s better-than-you-remember Ghostbusters reboot from 2016. As “Kevin,” Hemsworth got to let his improv flag fly. In a new interview, he reveals that Ghostbusters actually helped him before coming back as Thor in both Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.

On Friday, in a Q&A interview with Esquire, Hemsworth talked about 2019’s still-untitled Avengers 4 — “I think the second one is even more shocking,” he said, “for other reasons entirely” — and his experience on the set of Ghostbusters before going back to the Marvel Universe.

“That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on set, and probably my real jumping-in point to improvisation,” Hemsworth gushes about Ghostbusters. “Prior to that, I’d always wanted to be very confident in the fact that I knew exactly what was on the page, and I had my options worked out and I knew where the scene was going to go. Playing it safe, to a degree. And we just threw all that out the window in that film, and it really opened up a whole other side to my sort of process, I think.”

Ghostbusters Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth as "Kevin" in 2016's 'Ghostbusters.'

Hemsworth added that there’s “a spontaneity that’s created” in improv. “Now I kind of want to put myself in a position where I feel like I’m right on the edge of getting it wrong and kind of not really knowing what’s happening,” he said. “You want to keep people guessing. You want to keep yourself guessing.”

Before Hemsworth starred in Ghostbusters, he played Thor in two passable outings: 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Then, after Ghostbusters, the beefy actor cranked up the comedy — thanks in part to director Taika Waititi — for Thor: Ragnarok, which blew up the box office when it was released in theaters last November.

“From Thor 3, definitely, it became hugely improvised. I’m so glad I’ve been able to work with Paul prior to that,” he said, while also adding his appearances on Saturday Night Live and the 2015 reboot/sequel Vacation. “So by the time I got to Thor 3, I was incredibly enthusiastic to do it. Taika Waititi, the director, had the same opinion. And we carried that into Avengers.”

Feig’s Ghostbusters isn’t going to be many people’s favorites. It was a perfectly enjoyable comedy/action movie that didn’t do either genre exceedingly well, and it also forgot to scare the bejeezus out of its audience (which the original Ghostbusters did in between howls of laughter). Still, the cast is easily the best part of the movie, and while Kevin is totally hit or miss, it’s undeniable Hemsworth did his best swinging for the fences. And it’s because of Ghostbusters that we get to enjoy Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War so much. Odin knows we could use laughter for the latter film, too.

Meanwhile, Avengers 4 is still on the horizon, slated for theatrical release on May 5, 2010. “I just think it’s another step again,” Hemsworth told the magazine about the film. “Each step we seem to take with these films, I’ve loved the fact that there’s been growth and evolution and it continues to surprise people as opposed to sort of flatlining, which was obviously always a fear—that they’d run out of ideas or run dry of creative excitement.” So long as Thanos doesn’t kill Thor, I think Marvel fans will be invested for a long time come.

Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 5, 2019.