EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton
Stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton talks to CBM about doubling for Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World, Channing Tatum in Jupiter Ascending and breaks down the training regiment he follows to stay at the top of the stunt profession.
Bobby Holland Hanton has doubled for Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, Daniel Craig in Skyfall and of course, Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World. In short, he's the 'real action' behind a lot of today's top action stars. The skilled stuntman recently took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions from CBM. Check it out.
Mark Julian: How did you get started as a stunt performer?
Bobby Holland Hanton: I have had a physical career since a very young age, particularly in gymnastics. I enjoy being active, and crave the adrenaline that comes along with the job. I got a call out of the blue to audition to double for Daniel Craig in "Quantum of Solace." It was a dream come true. I went in for four or five vigorous exercise auditions; six weeks turned into six months, and I've never looked back.
MJ: Would you say there's any discernible difference between working on a superhero/comic book movie versus performing stunts in a regular action movie?
BHH: I would say the major difference between working on a superhero movie versus a regular action movie is that with a superhero movie you have a lot more free range to go over the top if you like. You have the ability to do everything on a bigger scale, and into a fantasy style.
MJ: How about performing stunts for film versus television?
BHH: Film and TV are very different, as TV schedule is much smaller and a lot quicker to get through timing wise, due to the amount of episodes etc. There is a much faster pace in TV compared to film.
MJ: You're doubling for Chris Hemsworth a second time in "Heart of the Sea"; have you two struck up an ongoing working relationship?
BHH: Chris and I have a great relationship and get along very well. We have become extremely close and he’s a great friend of mine. He truly is such a nice, down to earth guy and very, very good at his profession! We have the same sense of humor which helps a lot on set. I hope to work with him on many more movies in the future.
MJ: What type of training regimen do you follow to double for someone like Chris in Thor? And once the production wraps, do you maintain that mass or work your way back down to more normal levels?
BHH: For Chris, I was working out twice a day for nearly 9 months, with heavy weights and a lot of protein mixed in with my diet. I have found that between movies it has been best to maintain a middle ground, and I have been blessed to have the ability to change body types rather easily. I believe in a strict regimen all day, every day in order to keep your goals intact. I wake up every morning and take a shower before I start my day. I am a huge fan of products like the Dove Men+Care Odor Guard body wash, because it prevents me from smelling bad on set after performing stunts all day, alongside leading actors. I apply their Fresh Awake deodorant every day, which provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection…boy do I need that! I also make sure I eat regular portions throughout the day, every two hours, balancing high protein, high carbohydrates and high fats.
MJ: Do prepare differently depending on what actor you’re doubling for, for example, do you prepare differently for Christian Bale than you would for Channing Tatum?
BHH: Yes, very much so. Like I said, for the likes of someone like Chris Hemsworth or Christian Bale, I loaded up on the proteins and fats, while adding weight training to my regular routine. Whereas, for someone like Daniel Craig I stick to the circuit/body weight workouts, and focus more of healthy nutrition.
MJ: Do you think you'll double for Daniel Craig again in the next James Bond film?
BHH: Who knows what the future holds!
MJ: Jumping back to doubling for Tatum, what was the atmosphere like on the Jupiter Ascending set?
BHH: Jupiter was great; we filmed some really good material, and performed great stunts. Channing is another guy that I love working with, because he is an all-around great guy. Like Chris, he is another who is very physical and very good at what he does.
MJ: What's a typical day on set like for you as a stuntman? How many times do you have to perform the same stunt before a director is satisfied? Which director in your working experience has asked for the most takes?
BHH: A typical day on set is pretty intense! Around 6:30am I arrive on location for makeup and crew call. We pre-rehearse the day before or sometimes a few days before filming; therefore I pretty much know what I am going into in the mornings. If something changes drastically in the scene/script, we end up spending time rehearsing. Large stunts with massive special effects may require only two takes. We have to nail it, because set-ups like that can require two hours of staging. Depending on the movie also, there can be a lot of touching up, and adjusting of costumes. At the end of the day, the first thing I do is shower. On movies like Thor, I wore a wig all day, and it would pull at my hair, along with prosthetics and makeup. I love that Dove Men+Care has a thickening shampoo to keep me from losing my hair! As for directors… you can imagine every director is very different in so many ways I have just worked with Ron Howard on the heart of the sea which was an absolute pleasure he is someone I have always wanted to work with so that’s ticked a box ;) he not one for many takes which is great.
MJ: You've had a pretty stellar career as a stunt performer, is there any desire to step into a more traditional acting role one day?
BHH: I don't want to push my luck. I like that I can go to work with amazing people, do a job that I love, and as soon as it's finished, I can go home and it's just me. When actors become big, their private lives become very difficult to maintain and control. Doing so often becomes as difficult as the job itself.
MJ: Lastly, seeing as this is comicbookmovie.com, what's your most highly anticipate comic book movie coming up in 2014?
BHH: I would have to say the new Spider-Man!
Bobby's work was most recently seen in Captain Phillips and will also be on display in the upcoming films, Maleficent, Jupiter Ascending and Heart of the Sea. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyHanton.
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