Elsa Pataky emerges from hubby Chris Hemsworth’s shadow

When you’re married to one of the biggest stars in the world, it’s hard to find your own place in the spotlight.

Elsa Pataky, wife of “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth, is finally getting hers with “Tidelands,” Netflix’s first Australian original series, out Friday.

“I was surprised the project came to me,” the Spanish actress tells The Post. “I was, like, ‘Do they know I have an accent, that I can’t really pass as an Australian?’ ”

Accent or not, the 42-year-old stars as Adrielle, the mysterious leader of a group of mermaid-like people in this supernatural crime drama set in a small town. Think “Ozark” meets “True Blood.”

While Pataky’s made several movies and TV shows in her native Spain before becoming globally known for her part in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, “Tidelands” is the first project she’s made in her new home.

She and the 35-year-old Hemsworth, an Aussie native, left Los Angeles for Australia five years ago. They live in Byron Bay, a beachfront town with a population of less than 10,000.

“We were starting to have a lot of attention in LA,” she says. “And when you have kids, it’s more complicated. We wanted to live in a nature place where the kids could grow up away from the attention.”

Pataky’s made motherhood her top priority for the past few years, which is why “Tidelands” is her first recurring TV role since 2004, when she was on the Spanish show “Los Serrano.” The couple have a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twin boys.

“I’ve been really focused on my family,” she says. “But my kids are starting to go to school now. I have more time to do things and come back to my work.”

She and Hemsworth, who met when they were represented by the same agency, have been married for eight years — an eternity in Hollywood. The secret to their success?

“Chris and I have an agreement that we try not to work at the same time,” Pataky says. “So he was with the kids and I was able to work without feeling too guilty. You always struggle [with guilt] as a mom . . . but I think you need to do some things for yourself.”

After all, she stepped up when Hemsworth was filming the “Thor” and “Avengers” films, and he appreciated it, she says. “It’s good to have that person behind you saying, ‘You’re doing such a good job.’ ”

The two also make an effort to share as many things together as possible.

“We try to get passionate about each other’s hobbies,” she says. “We like to go in the ocean and surf together and we work out together . . .

“He’s getting into horseback riding, too,” says Pataky, who started riding at 16. When asked how good Hemsworth is in the saddle, she laughs.

“He is a better surfer than he is a horse rider,” she says, “but maybe I won’t say that!”

The fact that she’s seven years older than he is was a plus, as far as their careers go, she says.

“We met in the right moment. I’d worked a lot, and it was his moment to really put time in his career. For me, it was easing away. Like, ‘No, this is your time, this is your moment.’ I was really happy to be with the kids and the family.”

Now that’s turned around with “Tidelands,” and Pataky’s return to acting. “He was like, ‘This is your time — I’ll be home.’ ”

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