'Warrior' (Photo: Lions Gate Film)
Want to feel like a wimp? Then, by all means, go see "Warrior." The fight flick focuses on what it takes to survive in the brutal world of mixed martial arts. Spoiler alert: It's not easy.
Tom Hardy ("Inception," "The Dark Knight Returns") and Joel Edgerton ("Animal Kingdom," "The Thing") play brothers who clash in the ring. Both actors went through rigorous training sessions to get into shape for their roles.
This isn't lost on the masses. Over the past week, web searches on "warrior workout" have jumped an astonishing 700%. People clearly want to look like the stars -- but that might change once the masses hear about what Hardy and Edgerton went through to look like, well, warriors. Here's the scoop.
Edgerton was asked to gain 20 pounds of muscle for his role. Hardy put on 28. How'd they do it? According to the film's press notes, Edgerton described his training as a patchwork of "physical, mental, and emotional." Before filming, both actors went through a ten-week training process. Meals were restricted and focused on high protein.
While both actors ended up looking ripped, their training regimes were quite different. The film's producers wanted Hardy to be more of a raging bull in the fights. So, Hardy focuses much more on heavy weightlifting with the goal of bulking up in sheer size.
Hardy, who was apparently not into athletics prior to this role, had his days structured as follows: "Two hours of boxing, followed by two hours of kickboxing and Muay Thai, followed by two hours of choreography, and finally two hours of lifting." Edgerton, meanwhile, plays the underdog. With his smaller size, he relies on finesse, jiu-jitsu, and "slick maneuvers." Both actors had stunt doubles, but Hardy and Edgerton completed about 85% of the fight work.
The training was, of course, necessary. Not only to sell the action as believable to audiences, but to also protect the actors who went up against some of the best fighters in the world, including Kurt Angle, while filming. True, the actual fights weren't real, but even when staging a brawl with a professional mauler, you better know how to sell a punch, and even more importantly, duck.
See a clip from 'Warrior':
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