Bobby Holland Hanton, multi award winning Stuntman in some of Hollywood’s finest action films. The winner of three Sag Awards for his work in Inception, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and Skyfall. His credits include The Dark Knight Rises, Thor, Captain Philips, Maleficent, Game of Thrones, Jupiter Ascending the list goes on…. His career has picked up incredible momentum in both TV and Film and he has now become one of Hollywood’s ‘go-to’ action/superhero stunt doubles. Stunt doubling for the likes of Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth and more. We at Those London Chicks were so excited that Bobby took the time out from jumping off buildings or diving through cars to have a chat with us.
Bobby, you were a competing gymnast and a semi professional footballer in your youth. Why stunts and how did you make the transition from sport into stunt work?
As a gymnast I used to get a huge buzz with the danger side of it… And I started at the age of 4 and retired at 17 so that was my life, and once I gave up I still needed a similar buzz so that’s where stunts came in. I’d heard that an ex gymnast, a bit older than me was doing stunts in films. So I found out through equity how to go about training for the stunt register and went for it.
To join the UK stunt register you have to be qualified in six disciplines what were yours and did you have to ‘train up’ on some in order to meet the criteria?
My 6 were gymnastics, trampolining, 10m high diving, swimming, scuba diving, kickboxing and it took me about 3 years to qualify in all of those, whilst I was working in live shows I’d take the money from there to pay for me training in those six skills. It was very intense and gruelling but the reward in the end is enormous.
How did you get your first stunt job on a film and what was it?
My first job was stunt doubling Daniel Craig in bond movie quantum of solace… It was a dream come true and that sort of thing does not happen every day! A stunt coordinator that was also a gymnastics coach called me to say Gary Powell the stunt coordinator on bond is holding some auditions as they needed a bond double with acrobatic skills jumping around etc, so I had i think in the end 4 auditions/call backs when Gary then called to say I had the job … I couldn’t believe it!!!! And I’ve never looked back.
How do you physically prepare for a particular project and does that preparation differ from job to job?
Yeah that really depends on the job and who I am stunt doubling for, as I am now in Chris Hemsworth’s contract and do all his films with him. I have to train a hell of a lot especially when it’s Thor stuff as the character is huge and so is Chris Hemsworth lol… he’s naturally bigger than me and 6’3 and I am 6’1 so strict diets 6 days a week training and 2 inch lifts in my costume boots haha. But again that’s another challenge for me each time and it’s a job in its self, but if I want to do the job and do it properly then I have to do it….
You are in incredible physical shape, I can’t imagine you munching on crisps or cake, what is your diet like?
Well you say that haha…. It’s very difficult nearly impossible to stay in Thor shape all year round so I certainly have my down time, especially around xmas! And when I’m really strict I have 1 cheat day per week usually on a Sunday where I eat whatever I want. I shouldn’t really have a whole day of cheat food but it works for me and I still get the results I need. It’s something to look forward to which keeps me motivated, but yes that day will consist of a lot of chocolate,crisps, cakes, bread lots of bread haha.
You’ve worked with a huge number of ‘A-listers’ on some incredible movies, who have you enjoyed working with and why?
I have been very lucky to work with some amazing people super professional and so good at there craft and by working along side them so closely you form a good relationship… CH is a close friend of mine now so I love working with him, and he is so good at what he does and the nicest guy on the planet. Channing Tatum is amazing too i doubled him on Jupiter Ascending and he’s another that’s so good at what he does and physically incredible he moves do well, so he was very easy to teach tricks too, Christian Bale and Chris Evans also fantastic to work with as i doubled them as Batman and Captain America…. Bale is really one of the best at his craft.
Bobby to be a stunt person it must take a particular type of person with nerves of steal. Do you still get scared?
Yeah I get a huge adrenaline rush from my job and am extremely lucky and humble to being doing a job that I love so I feel very blessed. But of course there’s an element of being scared when I’m going to be doing a big stunt, that soon turns into an adrenaline rush. It’s very difficult to explain but it’s a feeling that not many people will ever get to experience. I think that’s what makes me keep coming back for more and more.
Would you consider yourself an ‘adrenalin-junkie’?
Ha I guess so!
Describe your most intimidating stunt to date and why?
Stand out for me to date is the roof top sequence that I did on Quantum of Solace where I am chasing the bad guy who is actually a close friend of mine and fellow stuntman Glenn Foster jumping across the roofs in Sienna Italy 160ft high… That was a big stunt sequence for me. I also did a 100ft high fall on Batman the Dark Knight Rises which was my first so that was great to tick that off the list. I also recently did my first full body fire burn but cannot say what that’s on yet as it’s not out yet… But that was certainly an experience.
What aspects of stunt work excites and drives you?
It’s the wide range of skills that we have the chance to perform on camera I guess no day is ever the same …. One day it could be fights, the next wire work, the next fire burns, then stair falls, getting hit by a car etc etc the list goes on its never a Mundane day haha constantly learning which is great too.
What would be the ultimate stunt that you are yet to do, but really want to?
A 100ft high fall on fire.
That’s a hard one , my 2 world stunt award nominations , stunt doubling for Bond, batman, thor and captain America, being in Chris Hemsworth contract, and working with some just incredible people.
With an extremely busy 2014 you now have a number of films you’ve worked on in post-production. What are they and can you tell us a little about your involvement in them?
Yeah this year I guess has potential to be the biggest year ever ha Bond coming out Avengers, Star Wars they are huge and I’ve lucky enough to be apart of all 3 that makes me smile And Stunt doubling for Thor and Captain America in one movie was quite an achievement for me… I can’t say to much but I can say, that is going to be full of action.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone considering entering the business and becoming a Stunt person?
My advice would be if you’re serious about it then go balls out to get there, but if your not sure and committed then don’t bother as it’s not for the faint hearted. I can say that much…. And you need to be ok with taking pain on a regular basis haha!
Thank you Bobby xx
Interview by Karen Bryson
Bobby in action diving through a Ford B MAX for their advert. Take a look!
Sponsors : Dove men + care, nuffield fitness centre, G form protection pads
Ambassador of Poppy’s Path (his god-daughter)
Spokesman for David Holmes podcasts ( he broke his neck stunt doubling on Harry Potter)
Bobby is opening his own gym in Surbiton UK called body shape studios visit website and sign up at: www.thebodyshapestudios.com
Twitter account: @bobbyhanton
YouTube channel: bobby holland hanton