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It has been well documented how much goes into the physical transformations required for many of today's blockbuster films. Whether it is Hugh Jackman's nearly two decades as Wolverine or Alicia Vikander putting on pounds of muscle for Tomb Raider, being an onscreen hero requires a lot of off-screen work. But it's not just the actors who have to look the part. Lost in the conversation is how much work the stunt doubles have to do to match the star's physiques, perhaps none more so than Chris Hemsworth's stuntman, Bobby Holland Hanton. The stuntman spoke about the challenge of working on the Thor films, saying:
Thor is definitely the most difficult character that we have to get in shape for. Chris is already huge, he's much bigger than me naturally so I have to train twice a day.
Not only does Bobby Holland Hanton have to do all of the dangerous stunts and take the bumps and bruises, but he also has to make sure he looks the part when doing so. Training multiple times a day allows for him to refuel in between while his muscles recover just in time for another workout. Training first thing in the morning, going to set all day and then training again at night, that is quite the gauntlet. As Hanton told News.com.au, in addition to training twice a day, he and Chris Hemsworth both have to eat eight meals every day, even during filming. And while the God of Thunder may be able to sling back mead after mead, the actor and his stuntman have to eat complex carbs, salads, eggs and chicken breast. It has to be especially difficult for Hanton, who is naturally smaller and has to pack on extra muscle to match Chris Hemsworth.
In addition to working with Chris Hemsworth, Bobby Holland Hanton has had a career performing stunts in many other blockbuster films, including The Dark Knight and Quantum of Solace and comic book movies Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. He's old hat at this by now, but his recent work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was especially challenging, as he explained:
I've done a few Thor and Avengers movies now and generally it would be over a six-month period. But just recently we did Ragnarok, straight into Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, so it was staying in Thor shape for the best part of a year-and-a-half and that was the biggest challenge to date so far.
Sheesh, that is intense. It's one thing to go on a super strict diet and workout regimen for a few months to a half a year, but to have to maintain that for a year-and-a-half is incredible. That means that there was basically no downtime and no point at which he could slack off, cheat on his diet or be lazy. Although I suppose it is in some ways easier to maintain being in shape and practicing good habits versus falling out of it and having to get it back. Plus, getting paid to be in great shape and play a part in the biggest superhero movie of all time isn't a bad way to go about life.
You can see Chris Hemsworth and Bobby Holland Hanton, although you won't know when it's him, as Thor in Avengers: Infinity War. Thor is expected to have an important role in the film, and perhaps Bobby Hanton's comments about working on Avengers 4 means that the God of Thunder will make it out alive of next week's cosmic clash. Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.