As the world anxiously awaits for the highly anticipated finale to the complete the Avengers franchise, Endgame is set to not only send viewers on a wave of emotions but the magnitude of the film, from the storyline and character development to the stunts and theatrics, will be something to be remembered for Marvel fans and movie buffs alike.
Well, at least that’s how Bobby Holland Hanton puts it.
If you’re asking yourself who exactly is Bobby Holland Hanton, he may very well be the busiest man in Hollywood right now. A professional stuntman by trade, Hanton has doubled for some of the world’s most infamous characters, including Batman, James Bond and Captain America, among an extensive list of renowned movie and TV show characters.
But it is his role as Chris Hemsworth’s body double in Marvel’s ‘Thor’ and ‘Avengers’ films that has earned him worldwide recognition – and a body to match.
Sitting down with Hanton ahead of the release of Avengers: Endgame, we discussed preparing for the role of Thor, keeping up with Chris Hemsworth, and a new app set to revolutionise the way you exercise.
From London to Hollywood
Holland Hanton hails from the UK, where he spent most of his childhood competing in Gymnastics competitions, going as far as the Olympics to win Gold Medals for Great Britain.
It wasn’t until the age of 23, however, that an opportunity surfaced to audition for a role in Quantum of Solace. Doing so successfully, Hanton landed his first professional stunt job as Daniel Craig’s body double; not a bad gig for his first rodeo.
“I was extremely lucky to work on Quantum of Solace as my first ever stunt job. It was honestly a case of being in the right place at the right time,” says Hanton.
“To reach the top (and stay there) in this industry, it takes a lot of dedication, determination and willingness to learn from the best, which is what I did – but it’s bloody hard work.”
Since then, Hanton has appeared in an array of blockbusters which has not only seen him go beyond the limits of what is humanly possible in the name of entertainment, but he is revered as one of the world’s best stuntmen; a title he has arduously garnered through many hardships, both physical and mental.
“I think what people don’t realise is that it’s [stunt work] a full-time job; it’s full on and it’s literally us being athletes, but it’s something I love and enjoy and wouldn’t change for the world,” explains Hanton.
“We train 2-times a day, eat 8-meals a day, and rehearse to no end when preparing for a film. And when getting into Thor shape for a movie like Avengers: Endgame, well, that’s a job in itself.”
A real-life Avenger
Since 2011, Hanton has spent the best part of 7-years mirroring Chris Hemsworth’s physique, looks and every move – a role he says is not only extremely demanding but dangerous as well (Hanton most recently snapped his groin off the bone, on top of having back surgery to replace 2 discs and to insert a cage around his lower back).
With Avengers: Endgame on the world’s doorstep, Hanton revealed the process of getting “Chris/Thor ready”, for what will be the biggest blockbuster film in 2019.
Of course, one would assume taking on Chris Hemsworth’s physique would be an arduous task, to say the least, but Hanton’s day-to-day in preparing for Thor consists of total-body conditioning. See below for a glimpse into Hanton’s workout regime.
“Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame was all shot in Atlanta and each day was literally an 18-hour day to create a film that people will remember for a long time; it definitely has the wow factor,” says Hanton.
“Preparing for the role of Thor as Chris’ [Hemsworth] body double takes a lot of preparation, dedication and maintenance which, essentially, sees me eating and training non-stop. Chris is naturally bigger than me, so it’s a job in itself to get his body, let alone learn all the stunts, moves and fights, then rehearse and shoot, whilst ensuring Chris is safe and fully across all that we are doing.”
“But running around with a hammer pretending to be Thor is pretty damn cool, so it’s all just apart of the process, I guess.”
Train like Thor
In late 2018, Hemsworth launched his very own fitness app, Centr, which has made waves across the the fitness world thanks to the access to some of the best fitness resources used in Hollywood; the very resources that Hemsworth himself utilises on a daily basis, especially when preparing for his role as Thor.
The Centr app is functional, it’s versatile, and it’s extremely easy to use, with most workouts and meal plans made possible in the comfort of your own home.
Enlisting Hanton’s expertise in the way of full-body conditioning, should any
insane person out there wish to train like Thor, you now can.
“Chris [Hemsworth] brought me on pretty early as an official trainer for the Centr app, where I could showcase my functional training regimes and offer different options to people in different circumstances, whatever they may be looking to achieve,” explains Hanton.
“If we’re talking about training like Thor, I offer a lot of my own body weight exercises like chin-ups, dips, pull ups, push ups, etc.”
Centr is a by-product of Hemsworth’s active life, taking all aspects from his personal and professional day-to-day and putting it into an app for anyone to utilise.
“Chris wanted to give back to people to show how exactly he trains and how achievable it is,” says Hanton.
“It’s a fantastic platform that showcases how we all train together and I’m so glad I can be a part of that.”