They soar through the air, have superhuman strength, and shoot laser beams out of their eyes. Society has had a long-standing interest in superheroes. They are everything we ordinary people wish we could be. With their superpowers, they save the world on a daily basis.
At least, that’s what they are portrayed as on the movie screen. Behind all the special effects however, superheroes are nothing more than mere actors and actresses playing a part. But what we often miss is that, in order to fit the roles, these acting professionals have to maintain a certain physical standard.
To be able to get into shape and keep themselves strong and fit, many actors who play superhero roles in the movies turn to martial arts. Martial arts is one of the most effective approaches to overall health and fitness.
The five individuals on this list have all trained in martial arts to prepare themselves physically and mentally. Today, Evolve Daily shares five “superheroes” who trained martial arts in real life to get in shape for their movie roles.
1) Chris Hemsworth as “Thor”
Many of his fans would call his body divine, but the fact of the matter is Chris Hemsworth has transformed himself from an ordinary guy to the God of Thunder himself, Thor
Playing the iconic superhero role, and one of the main protagonists in Marvel’s The Avengers is no easy task. For the role, Hemsworth had to work out up to three times a day, lifting weights and cross training. One of his favorite go-to workouts is martial arts.
2) Tom Holland as “Spiderman”
When Tom Holland was cast into the role of Spiderman for the 2016 film Avengers: Civil War, he was just a scrawny kid who got thrust into one of the biggest shoes to fill as far as comic book superheroes go. Holland knew exactly the kind of physical demand the role required, and what he needed to do in order to perform Spiderman’s unique stunts.
To help with his agility and flamboyance, Holland practiced parkour. But for fight scenes, which were inevitable, Holland turned to martial arts.
One of Holland’s favorite martial arts is boxing, and he has incorporated boxing training into his overall fitness program. Boxing has helped him get into supreme shape and has increased both his flexibility and his agility. It has also helped him in performing action scenes and making his movements look realistic.
3) Chris Pratt as “Star-Lord”
From fat to fit, Chris Pratt made a decision a long time ago that would change his life forever and the kind of roles he was cast into. Not long after taking control of his fitness and getting absolutely ripped, Pratt soon landed the role of Star-Lord in the 2014 superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
For the role, Pratt stuck to a very strict diet plan and performed many different workouts. His favorite among them was, of course, martial arts. Pratt would train in boxing and Muay Thai. But later on, he also added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling to his repertoire.
In this video clip, Pratt can be seen wrestling with UFC legend Randy “The Natural” Couture.
4) Dave Bautista as “Drax the Destroyer”
It is pretty obvious that former WWE superstar and the man who plays “Drax the Destroyer” in Galaxy of the Guardians, Dave “The Animal” Bautista, trains in martial arts. In fact, it’s been a major part of his entire life.
Bautista began wrestling in the early 2000s and soon landed a job with World Wrestling Entertainment. He also began training in Muay Thai and Eskrima, and then eventually Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where he is a purple belt. Bautista is most certainly well-versed in multiple martial arts disciplines.
In October 2012, Bautista even had the courage to try professional mixed martial arts, defeating opponent Vince Lucero via first round technical knockout.
5) Robert Downey Jr. as “Iron Man”
Everyone’s favorite superhero Iron Man, portrayed by American actor Robert Downey Jr., is an absolute dynamo on the Avengers squad. Surprisingly, Downey — who has played Iron Man since 2008 — is as amazing as he is offscreen as he is onscreen.
To get fit, Downey has a tailor-made weight-lifting program and a personalized nutrition plan. But he is also known to train and practice martial arts. Downey practiced the art of Wing Chun in preparation for his role as Sherlock Holmes in the 2009 film of the same name.