You might not recognize Bobby Holland Hanton by name, but if you’ve seen big time blockbusters like Inception, 007 Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and the final two Harry Potter movies, then you’ve seen his work. As one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen, he transforms his body to mirror the major stars he’s stunting for (think: Daniel Craig, Christian Bale and Chris Hemsworth to name a few). His latest adventure is teaming up with Dove Men+Care to help shed some light on the “face torture” most men put their skin through, including poor grooming routines and razor burn. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we chatted with Hanton to get his top training secrets, as well as, some solid skin-care advice and recommendations so you can share them with the special men in your life.
Some guys disregard skin-care. Why is it important to you and what do you love about Dove Men+Care? “A lot of guys—over half of my friends—don’t use any face care whatsoever, and that includes the guys I work with, so hopefully that’s the reason I’m getting the jobs and they’re not. At the moment, I’m using the Dove Men+Care. The new body wash, Odor Guard ($6, drugstore.com), is fantastic because I don’t want to be going on set and smelling bad so that helps remove and control odor. They also have a new face range out at the moment that I’m using as well. The face wash hydrates my skin but doesn’t irritate it so I don’t have to worry about that when I get to work, and the same goes for the face lotion, which is great to use after shaving. And if you’re looking for gifts, they have cool Father’s Day Gift Sets available at Wal-mart.”
As a stunt double for a ton of Hollywood stars, what do you do to prepare for a role? “Preparing for a role really depends on the actor I’m preparing to double on that movie. If it’s action movie like Thor with Chris Hemsworth, he’s a huge, huge guy naturally, let alone when he’s training and working out to get to the size of Thor, so I’ll generally work out the training program myself or work with a trainer and a nutrition program to match what Chris is eating throughout the whole movie and we try and work out together as much as possible when we get time. Also, it’s up to me to get into that kind of physical shape as soon as I know that I’ve been chosen for that job. So if I’m doubling with Daniel Craig on a Bond movie, he’s a lot slimmer and slender, so it’s more about eating well and not training quite as much. So it just depends, but the training programs and the nutrition programs change massively.”
You’re obviously an expert in transforming your body. What are the key things that someone should focus on if they want to see big results? “Due to much of my life doing this, I would say that probably 85% of the success in achieving your goals is nutrition. If you can really restrict and focus on exactly the right times to eat during the day and what you should eat, then the training actually comes secondary. But also I would say that sticking to a very strict routine for a period of time is important. For example, if I’m not that strict on a movie, then I might train five days a week, and have two days off where I kind of take it easy on my diet. It really depends on the goals you want to achieve. Try to be as regimental as possible, not just about your food and training but about everything, down to waking up in the morning and sticking to a certain routine. And that’s the way I find it easiest to control, and I mean that. I would really say that’s the most important thing.”
You mentioned eating at the right times. Are you an advocate of eating smaller meals more often throughout the day or does it all depend on what you are preparing for? “Yes, I am the master of eating small amounts regularly. What I try to do generally is eat every two hours, small amounts. But it is really a part of your daily routine, being able to do that and taking the right snacks to work or to train with you. I mean, for me, my routine is that I literally wake up in the morning and I’ll shower, go to work and have my first meal of the day, which will be a protein meal: like chicken, turkey, spinach, natural nuts in the morning. Trying to do that, I must say, is very difficult because it’s tough to eat the same kind of stuff everyday so you try and change up as much as possible. And then after small portions of that, another protein snack and then lunch time, I’ll introduce my first set of carbs—clean, good carbs, meaning sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. And I’ll eat small amounts again all the way up until I go to bed. A lot of people believe you shouldn’t eat carbs after a certain time, but I don’t believe that. It certainly doesn’t work for me. I eat small amounts, including carbs, all the way up until bedtime.”
I imagine your body and muscles take a beating when training and filming so how do you recover from soreness or small injuries? “You know, that’s a great point, as my job is mostly physical, one of the most physical out there. So I do get little bumps and stuff like that a lot, and sore muscles, so it’s really important to stretch. I stretch in the mornings, before we start anything—that’s when you’re going to be your stiffest. So sometimes we spend a half hour stretching in the morning before we do anything physical and also before we train, we have a stretch and a jog on the running machine to keep our muscles warmed up. It’s very, very important.”
What was one of the craziest stunts you’ve ever attempted and how did you get past that fear of doing something that intimidated you? “I think I got thrown into the deep end on my first job, which was on the Bond movie where I was the stunt double for Daniel Craig. I was twenty-three and new to the stunt world in movies. So I had to do a balcony jump in Panama, which was the last shot of the night at two o’clock in the morning. It was dark and there were a lot of elements; it wasn’t just the jump from one balcony to another, it was down a narrow corridor where I couldn’t see my take off or landing point, and I had no safety and no wires. We rehearsed it back on the stage with safety mats and boxes and it all measured out to exactly how the set was in Panama. So I knew I could do it, it was just trying to overcome the nerves. So I tried to turn the nerve side and the fear side of it into adrenaline, which helps me massively. I think I perform slightly better a bit under pressure and high intensity. So it actually worked out perfect. I managed to get it in two takes, we went home and everyone was happy.”