Ahead of the release of this month’s blockbuster – Gods Of Egypt – Janet Leigh spoke to trainer-to-the-stars Klint Hoare, about just what it takes to knock an A- Lister into tip-top physical shape…
When someone comes to you with a script like this, where the role consists of beings with god-like strength, power and abilities, what are your first thoughts?
Big productions with big Hollywood demands and expectations require big results – it’s as simple as that. My first thought was of a responsibility to deliver male actors with nearly mythological muscle. The film required an almost ‘half-man, half-god’ aesthetics. The women’s roles required flawlessness – in essence, a physique with perfect aesthetics. As a trainer, I am hired to get the actors ready to film at their physical best. The challenge is to prepare each actor to hold peak condition for five-to-six months of filming.
There are a lot of ‘supernatural’ elements to some of the characters’ capabilities. How do you help them to create that realism on set when training them?
For Brenton (aka Bek) his character was fast, nimble, with excellent body control. The producers saw him as lean, sinewy and muscular without being excessively bulky. So Brenton’s training structured around athletic mobility, infused with compound exercises that simulate pushing, pulling, climbing and explosive jumping.
Who did you work with on the film?
I was contracted to train Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, (Horus) Brenton Thwaites (Bek), Rufus Sewell (Urshu), Courtney Eaton (Zaya), Yaya Deng (Astarte), Elodie Yung (Hathor), Abby Lee (Anat) and Chadwick Boseman (Thoth).
For actors like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau whose main job (Game Of Thrones) involves a lot of physical stunts, does it make it easier or more difficult to train them?
Nikolaj came into the role with a reputation as a hardworking actor, committed to his projects and the training requirements for those roles. He loves competing. When a client is hungry and determined like Nikolaj, the trainer’s skill is in feeding that hunger appropriately.
Brenton Thwaites or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – who was harder to train and why?
Between Brenton and Nikolaj you wouldn’t get two more determined and hard working clients within the gym.
Does it get quite competitive between the actors?
Yes, we had with a certain ‘intensity’! In particular Nikolaj and Brenton love competing – whether it was table tennis betweenscenes or beating each other’s previous times within a metabolic conditioning circuit. So that was fun. Abbey Lee and Courtney are really good friends and prior to Gods had filmed Mad Max Fury Road together so they had a real bond and trained occasionally together, egging each other on and flexing their new found arm muscles.
What’s the atmosphere like during a training session?
The training arena must always be an environment that has soul. There is no other way! The trainer must create a place where the exercisers wants to come.
How long have you been a trainer-to-the-stars and how did you fall into the profession?
I’ve been fortunate that doors have opened through my dedication to clients and the client getting results. The results become a walking, talking advertisement for my brand, my training methods, my business.
How does training the average Joe compare to training celebrities?
I treat everyone of them the same and I think that is what builds life-long rapport, trust, and mutual respect between me and the client. I also think the celebrity clients I have love the normality I provide within their sessions. They can be themselves.
Between the training, the early starts, and your own fitness regime, does the hectic lifestyle take its toll on you and what do you do to escape?
I escape into my sweet spot … my space. For me that’s the outdoors, it’s hanging with people, it’s family time, it’s riding my bike through the hills.
After seeing the movie, what is your verdict on their physical performance?
The stunts and battle scenes were tremendous. The physicality of all the actors and stunt crew is quite amazing actually. Personally I thought all the actors reached their pre-filming briefs… so to then witness it within the actual film was very humbling and something I am very proud of.
GODS OF EGYPT is available on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD on 24th October