Bulking With 'Thor 2' Stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton

The 'Thor 2' stuntman talks about building mass like Chris Hemsworth and recovering with Dove Men+Care.

What kind of steps do you take to make a stunt done safely?

I think what’s important for us, as a stunt team is to make a stunt done as safe as possible, as weird as that sounds. It’s dangerous. I think that’s why we start a movie two months before we start shooting, so we’ve got prep time to get all the stunts and make them right. It’s just thinking about every single angle of what could and couldn’t go wrong. Sometimes there’s things you’ve got no control over—if it’s a hard hit, it’s just one of those things you’ve got to suck up. It’s part of the job that we do. But we generally try and spend a lot of time rehearsing with the best team around. There’s mats; we wear helmets and pads, because it’s a profession that people want to maintain for a long period of time. It’s a skill. It’s not like anyone can just jump off something and hurt themselves. You can do it once, but it’s all about being able to do it over and over again and making it look as real as possible. So I think that comes down to the rehearsal time.

How do you recover after such a hard day?

Sometimes you get beaten about. The first thing I like to do is go home and have a really hot shower. We have a lot of makeup and prosthetics that’s quite difficult to get off. I use Dove Men+Care, the odor-guard, which is great. It helps me have a hot shower and relax and make me go to sleep easier at night. The good thing about the Dove products is that it doesn’t keep your skin dry, it keeps it moisturized and fresh and gives me a good night’s sleep.

What did you do before you were a stunt guy?

Before I was a stunt guy, I was a gymnast. From the age of four till about seventeen. It was a long career, but when I finished I was still fairly young. I played a little bit of semi-pro soccer back in the UK before I got into live acrobatic shows and high diving shows. Ten years ago was when I did my first live show, so I’ve had a lot of experience around the world performing live. And I think that’s really helped with the film side of it now. On the spot changes and being quick if something goes wrong, you have to know how to carry on.

You’ve had to do some crazy tests?

There’s a criteria in the UK to become a professional stuntman. It’s the stunt register. I think there are 12 disciplines that you can choose from. You have to be elite at six. Lucky for me I already had three at the time: gymnastics, trampoline and high diving. So I just needed three more, and I chose kickboxing, scuba diving and swimming. And I have to say hands-down for me swimming was the most intense and difficult. It was like the equivalent of the SAS swimming test; it was insane. Breath-holding, clothes on, long distance swims. That was really hard, and it was a real achievement when I finished that and passed the test. It was six months, training every day.  

Get the full Thor workout in the November issue of Muscle & Fitness >>