Chris Hemsworth’s Stuntman Is Struggling to Keep Up With the Actor’s Gains
Hemsworth's "Thor" fitness regimen provides a unique challenge for body double Bobby Holland Hanton
Bobby Holland Hanton has traded blows with Bane, run from assassins in Mexico City and fought White Walkers north of the Wall. But in Chris Hemsworth’s maniacal fitness plan, he may have finally met his match.
The 34-year-old British stuntman has been the 37-year-old Australian actor’s body double for over a decade, after years of lending his talents to prestige films and television, including The Dark Night, Spectre and Game of Thrones. He’s a former gold medal gymnast, at the national level, plus a semi-professional footballer.
But Hemsworth’s recent training in preparation for Thor: Love and Thunder — the latest installment in the Marvel franchise, to be directed by Taika Waititi — has Hanton struggling to keep up. During a recent appearance on Australian radio show Fitzy & Wippa, he said: “Everyone’s like, ‘Wow, look at the size of him,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s brilliant, now I have to put on that size too. I text him and I’m like, ‘Thanks very much, dude, it’s going to be even harder this time.’”
If you haven’t seen “the size of him,” lately, here you go. Hemsworth is absolutely yoked right now, even by his standards. It stands to reason that the Australian lockdown has cut his travel time extensively, giving him more time to work out, and in familiar settings. (Hotel gyms can only do so much.) Plus, he’s been able to invest more energy into his popular fitness app, Centr. A natural byproduct of that process is bigger muscles.
Hanton has no choice but to keep pace. As you can see in the Instagram video above, Hanton is still a stuntman — he’s responsible for all sorts of tricky flips and technical fight scenes, the sort of stuff people expect from blockbuster action movies. But he’s also at the forefront of a steady shift in moviemaking, whereby actors spend years perfecting their bodies for roles.
In kind, that’s changed the jobs of stuntmen and women. They can’t just jump from a car into a ravine anymore, their calves have to look proportional while doing so. It’s turned them into reluctant workout buddies. Hanton follows the same training plan as Hemsworth, and often works out with him.
That said, if you have to assume the muscle mass of one Hollywood star, Hemsworth’s devotion to functional fitness is a massive plus. Instead of isolating muscles and lifting heavy (the ’80s, anabolic-steroid-fueled method), Hemsworth and the Centr gang are all about full-body strength training. In the long run, attention to all sorts of muscles, through hybrid strength-cardio sessions, plus emphasis on recovery, should help Hanton get bigger while managing to keep his career going.
Still, there isn’t much to be done about all the eating. Hanton has to eat every two hours in order to keep the gains coming. “It’s become a chore,” he told Fitzy & Wippa. “I don’t enjoy eating at all. It’s full-on.”
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