With Æsir blood in his veins, it seems Thor, the ‘Lord’ of Thunder and Prince of Asgard, was simply born with his physique.
But for mortals Chris Hemsworth and Bobby Holland Hanton, who are the real life humans behind the larger-than hammer-thrower, it takes a bit more than Maybelline to get in the required shape. A lot more, in fact.
“I was eating up to 10 meals a day, two of those would be protein shakes, we were training twice a day and I never thought in my life that I would be sick of food and not wanting to eat food, because I love food,” Hanton, who is Hemsworth’s stunt double, told Ice 36 in a recent interview.
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“I hated it. In the end, I was trying to give away food that I was supposed to eat because I just didn’t want to eat it, it would almost make you feel sick because you were never, ever hungry,” Hanton added.
Every two hours, Hanton says an alarm would go off on-set to remind both he and Hemsworth that they needed to eat and, thankfully, a chef was taking care of their meal prep.
It got to the stage where Hanton would set out two cooked chicken breasts before he went to sleep, so if he got up during the night to go to the restroom, he could eat them on the way back to bed.
“It was horrendous,” Hanton said, but he did note that although he never wants to something so extreme again, if Hemsworth asked, he would.
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That’s how it went the first time, with Hemsworth telling Hanton that for last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which saw the character controversially shed the ‘Fat Thor’ weight, he wanted Thor to be his strongest ever yet.
When Hemsworth revealed his wish to Hanton, the body double says his immediate reaction over the phone was, “You have got to be kidding me.”
Hemsworth’s goal meant Hanton, who has over the last 15 years had to have major back surgery and neck surgery due to injuries, had eight weeks to train and eat around 4000 calories a day in order to put on 10kgs of lean muscle mass.
“I paused for a second and thought, ‘We’ve done three [films] together and you’ve always been huge’. I’ve always had to work double hard to try and get anywhere near his height – [he is] 6’4″ and I’m 6’1″, I have to wear two-inch lifts in my shoes to get near his height – and I train like a mad man to get anywhere near his physicality,” Hanton said, noting how his next words to Hemsworth were, “What are you talking about?”
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Hemsworth told Hanton they had to take it to another level for the fourth Thor film, and although it took a lot of work, on reflection, Hanton said the process was “actually inspiring because it made me work harder, it made him work harder, and we both got into the best physical shape we’ve ever been in.”
It’s not all work on the set of the popular Marvel franchise, however, with Hanton also revealing to the outlet there’s “never a dull moment” with the actor, his family, or the crew.
“The team has been together for a long time, it’s just like one big family,” Hanton, who has been involved in the franchise since before its first offering was released in 2011, said.
“What we love to do on-set is prank each other all the time, and Chris is at the heart of it,” he continues.
“He’s such a great professional and he’s so good at what he does, but he also is one of the lads and wants to have a great time and enjoy himself. He keeps a close team around him that are his closest friends and would do anything for him and we’re honest.”
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