Secrets of a
Bobby Holland Hanton is the real badass behind the mask. A true jack-of-all-trades, the former member of Great Britain's national gymnastics team is fluent in flipping, kickboxing, scuba diving, rock climbing and high-diving. Add in his taste for adrenaline, and you can understand how he became Hollywood's go-to superhero stunt double, stepping in for the likes of Daniel Craig, Christian Bale and Chris Hemsworth for their blockbuster action sequences. We caught up with Holland Hanton, fresh off some stunt work for the upcoming Bond film Spectre, to see what it takes to get into true fighting shape.
For Quantum of Solace, I had to free jump from a three-story ledge onto a balcony with no safety wires or mats.”
Preparation is the key to success
Everyone has to deal with nerves and expectations at work. But not everyone's job involves jumping through windows or filming a fight sequence on a slippery rooftop 160 feet off the ground. Holland Hanton says he finds his moment of calm by focusing on his prep work and routine. Long before any formal stunt rehearsals, he analyzes the actor he'll be doubling—not just the physique, but how they walk and move their body. That way, he's ready to step into their shoes and do the stunt without second-guessing himself.
You can't beat
body weight exercises
"When I first started doubling (for Ryan Reynolds on The Green Lantern), I learned the hard way that hitting the weights too hard was the wrong move. I was too bulky and wasn't as agile as I needed to be. So I resorted back to simple body weight exercises, the kind I did as a gymnast—chin ups, push ups, squats and dips. That old-school kind of training regime works really well for me. You can do them anywhere and they're always effective, whether I'm on set or between projects."
When it comes sculpting an A-list physique, especially on deadline, Holland Hanton says that it's "85% nutrition and 15% training." So if you're looking to shape up quickly, stay clear of processed foods and empty carbs. Opt for several high-protein meals a day—saving any carbs for after a workout. "And embrace good fats like nuts and avocados," he says. "I cook everything in coconut oil." But even superheroes have their kryptonite, so once a week, he enjoys a "cheat day," breaking out the bread and chocolate.
Taking care of yourself is part of the gig
"I've been working with Dove Men+Care since 2011 and it's really helped me look and feel my best. When I'm doubling an actor, there's a lot of makeup and sometimes wigs. At the end of the day, I can have five or six layers of sweat and gunk on me. The Hydration Balance body and face wash is an all-in-one product that calms any irritation and moisturizes skin. Taking care of my skin and hair, it makes me look younger than I am—which is great because I want to do this job for as long as possible."
What does a celebrity stunt man carry to work, besides the requisite safety gear?