Meet the guy whose résumé includes performances as Batman, James Bond, Green Lantern, Robin Hood, the Prince of Persia, and the Mighty Thor.
Yes, each of those iconic characters are portrayed on screen by individual actors, but there's one man who's been the stunt double for them all: Bobby Holland Hanton, one of the most prolific — and downright courageous — stuntmen in the business.
The U.K.-born Hanton has performed all sorts of jaw-dropping acts of derring-do, from that astonishing foot chase in the first act of "Quantum of Solace" to exchanging fisticuffs with Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." But doubling for the God of Thunder himself in "Thor: The Dark World" made for some brand-new physical challenges.
"The movie was intense, it [required] a lot of training for me to be Chris's [Hemsworth] stunt double," said Hanton in an exclusive interview with Yahoo omg! "Chris is by far the biggest actor I've ever had to double — I'm 6-foot-1 and he's 6-4 in the costume so he's huge, a man mountain, so it was very difficult to emulate his size and build and all of that."
Hemsworth has been featured on more than one gossip site thanks to his almost inhumanly large biceps, the body part that Hanton, a former gymnast, found the most difficult to emulate — though he reveals that playing the Asgardian Avenger is ultimately a full-body endeavor.
"The arms are on show quite a lot with the Thor costume, so that means that's the area of the body I would work the most to try and match Chris and what he was doing," said Hanton. "But overall it was a full-body conditioning program. My background is in gymnastics, I used to be a gymnast in the U.K. so I focused on what I know best, my own bodyweight conditioning, chins [chin-ups], press-ups, things like that."
Hanton has performed stunts for such large-scale Hollywood productions as "War Horse" (2011), "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1" (2010) and "Part 2" (2011), "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (2011) and "John Carter" (2012), though his favorite gigs have been those that have allowed him to play the iconic figures of Batman (in "The Dark Knight Rises"), James Bond (in both "Quantum of Solace" and "Skyfall") and Thor.
"I think those three — Bond, Batman and Thor — are definitely the biggest and the most iconic for me, and I'm sure everyone else," answered Hanton when asked if he has a favorite amongst all of the popular characters he's portrayed — or at least crashed through a pane of glass or jumped off a cliff for. "It's very hard to choose one, they're all so great in their own right."
Bobby Holland Hanton's rigorous work as the God of Thunder can be seen now in theaters as the highly anticipated "Thor: The Dark World" has finally opened. Hanton is currently doubling for Chris Hemsworth on Ron Howard's period whaling adventure, "Heart of the Sea," — and we hope they'll be collaborating on Thor once again soon after for "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron."