Bobby Holland Hanton is an award-winning stuntman who has made a name for himself as a stunt double for many big-name actors in blockbuster films. Join us as we discuss his life as a stunt performer and the difficulties involved in preparing for these high-profile and very physical roles.
Cinelinx recently got the opportunity to talk with Bobby Holland Hanton about his exciting career as a stuntman. He has been performing stunts in films since 2008 and his impressive filmography is full of big names and big movies. He has performed stunts in many blockbuster films including Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Inception, Skyfall, and John Carter, among others. He has been featured as a stunt double to many of today’s most popular action stars including Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace, Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in The Green Lantern, Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: The Dark World, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan in Prince of Persia: Sand of Time. His next film is Jupiter Ascending where he worked as stunt double for Channing Tatum.
GSP: A big part of being a stunt double is trying to look as close as possible to the actor you are filling in for. How do you condition your body to mimic the actor you are working with?
BHH: After many years of trials and tribulations, I have found what works best for me. I have found that between movies it has been best to maintain a middle ground. For the likes of someone like Chris Hemsworth, I loaded up on the proteins and fats, while adding weight training to my regular routine. I was working out twice a day on the set of Thor 2, in order to bulk up and add upper body strength. Whereas, for someone like Daniel Craig I stick to the circuit/body weight workouts, and focus more of healthy nutrition. In addition to working out it’s important for any actor to have great skin (and a skincare routine, just like a workout routine). I trust Dove Men+Care Personal Wash, Face, and Deodorant products to help my skin stay moisturized, and looking its best every day, without the fuss.
GSP: I read your interview in Details magazine. There seems to be an incredible amount of effort on your part in order to prep yourself for a film. How much time do you usually get to prepare for a role? What is the toughest part? The most rewarding?
BHH: Lately, prep time has been very minimal – which is good! I have been transitioning from film to film rather quickly, but know well in advance what I will be doing. Luckily, I have gone from Channing Tatum, to Chris Hemsworth (for two movies now), therefore have been able to maintain a similar build. Whereas, there have been times where I’ve had just a short few weeks to lose or gain a large amount, which requires a very strict diet and training regimen. The toughest part is maintaining focus and discipline, however that goes hand-in-hand with the rewards, of being able to get the opportunities I have to work on such great films, with such great people.
GSP: A lot of planning goes into movie stunts. Do things usually work out as they did on paper or do you have to make adjustments once you start shooting?
BHH: We spend the day before, sometimes a few days rehearsing certain stunts – however, there are the times that we have to re-adjust. We typically pre-rehearse the day before or sometimes a few days before like I said. If something changes drastically in the scene/script, we end up spending time that morning 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.
GSP: A lot of stunts are shot multiple times on different takes. How do you manage your body to maintain your energy and reduce the chances of injury?
BHH: As I previously said, we rehearse a lot leading up to the stunts, therefore we hope to get it right the first time, if not the second. This helps reduce injury, because we are extremely careful to be sure the stunt is ready, and I have mastered the technique.
GSP: What about the risk involved with performing dangerous stunts? Do you enjoy the thrill?
BHH: Yes, I think that is what I love most. I am an adrenaline seeker, and could not see myself sitting behind a desk. I grew up a gymnast, and have a very physical and active background – I love the fast-paced tempo.
GSP: Are there any particular sequences that come to mind that you would not want to perform again?
BHH: To be completely honest, none. I am always up for the challenge, and love all of the stunts I have performed, and are to perform. I would do all over again :)
GSP: You have an impressive filmography working with actors in big-time roles. What is it like working in these incredibly popular films?
BHH: It truly is unbelievable when I think about it sometimes, and I am grateful every day. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of Hollywood’s leading actors and learn from some of the best directors/producers.
GSP: What film did you enjoy working on the most? Which was most challenging?
BHH: They have all been different, and exciting in their own way! I would have to say The Dark Knight Rises was the most amazing experience for me. Between the locations, the team, the cast, it was all incredible. Working with Christopher Nolan again was also a privilege, he’s a genius. Truly, they are all challenging in their own ways, depending on the costumes, the stunts themselves, it all is taken into consideration.
GSP: Maleficent is hitting theaters soon and then Jupiter Ascending. Did you enjoy working on these films? A lot of people are excited to see them. What can they expect?
BHH: Yes, I did enjoy working on them very much so. Both were very different in and of themselves. I didn’t work on Maleficent for a huge amount of time, more so a few stunt performances here and there, but was on Jupiter Ascending for 7 months as Channing Tatum’s stunt double – you can expect a lot of exciting action in that film!
Special thanks to Edleman PR and Dove Men+Care who sponsors Bobby. Catch Maleficent in theaters May 30th, and Jupiter Ascending on July 18th.