Bobby Holland Hanton is a strong dude with a great body – it just isn't his body. Well, not exactly. With over a dozen summer blockbusters to his name over the last three years, Hanton is arguably Hollywood's top stunt double. That means the Australian ex-gymnast has to be agile and tough, but also capable of morphing himself into the shape of the leading man he's doubling.
"It's up to you to get into the shape as close as possible of the actor you're doubling or you will lose the job," he explains. "That's how simple it is. If you're not matching up or the director doesn't believe that you’re a good double for him, they will just replace you."
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The easiest element of Hanton's job turns out to be the part where he falls off buildings and jumps through plate glass windows. The real work happens in the gym, where he focuses his efforts on different muscles depending on whether he's playing a Norse god, a British superspy, or an alien soldier with wolf DNA. Hanton walked Men's Journal through the various workouts he uses to take the form of the world's most famous leading men.
In order to pass for Ryan Reynolds' version of the Green Lantern in 2011, Hanton needed to look physically imposing. The job required him to wear a skin-tight suit, which meant he needed extremely well-defined muscles. Getting them involved a lot of time at the gym, and even more time at the dinner table. The stuntman says he had to eat almost constantly.
"I'd eat small amounts every two hours," he remembers. "I'd have a protein breakfast within half an hour of waking up then tuna, spinach, and turkey grill with no sauces. The only fluids were water, green tea, and maybe espresso for energy before a training period."
More than being about what Hanton put in his body, the diet was about cutting out anything that would add bulk he couldn’t easily convert to muscle. He took out carbs, sugar, and salts in an effort to rid himself of flab and water weight. The strategy worked, but made his job harder. "I put on a lot of weight and I was in good shape, but I was so heavy that I found it hard to move in fight scenes," he says. "Unfortunately, moving is kind of what my job is about."