The Man Who Sculpted the Bodies of Chris Evans’ Captain America and Daniel Craig’s Bond

OWhen Chris Pratt was selected by Marvel to be their next lead for what would become the blockbuster franchise guardians of the galaxy, there was more than a whiff of skepticism.

Until then, Pratt was best known for playing the chubby and lovable slacker Andy Dwyer on Parks and recreation. The sentiment seemed to be, sure, Pratt was charismatic and could crack jokes, but could he be superhero material the way the other Chris’s (Evans and Hemsworth) are?

But jaws were dropped and doubts vanquished when Pratt debuted a dramatic physical transformation as the broad-shouldered, awe-inspiring Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord.

This stunned and impressed reaction is exactly what celebrity trainer Simon Waterson told The Daily Beast he hopes for Pratt, and all the other top actors and actresses who call on him when they need help. get in top shape for roles.

Pratt is far from the only celebrity Waterson has helped sculpt. He is responsible for Daniel Craig’s terrific James Bond, working with Craig on each of his five Bind movies, tweaking it slightly from a muscled agent in 2006 Casino Royale to a more elegant construction last years no time to die.

Waterson is also to thank for transforming Chris Evans from wimpy-looking army recruit to jagged action figure Captain America. To prep Jake Gyllenhaal for his sweaty, shirtless scenes in Prince of Persia: The Sands of TimeWaterson got up at 3:30 a.m. for workouts at the gates of the Sahara desert.

And Waterson helped change Adam Driver’s perception of the strange boyfriend of Girls to the imposing and sculptural Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

One of the best parts of his job, says Waterson, is the gratifying wonderment that emanates from viewers and production members alike when they admire the end result of such demanding and dedicated training that can sometimes take up to a year.

“There’s a tremendous sense of pride, more for them than for me,” Waterson says. “Because I know they did the hard work, I just guided them in the quickest, most efficient and safest way, and hopefully I put them in a place where people go” Wow , oh my God. ‘”

“I try to keep the revelation pretty secret,” he adds. “I’m like, ‘Wear baggy sweaters and don’t come back from the makeup trailer to your own trailer without the top,’ or stuff like that, let’s keep it a secret until that day, when that big red cross is on The calendar is the day of revelation.

Simon Waterson and Daniel Craig

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It may be Waterson’s English upbringing, but the former Royal Marine is relatively humble when it comes to bragging about his job. (“Anonymity was what kind of kept me in the business, I guess,” Waterson jokes.)

He is so discreet that it was only at the request of his famous clients that he finally decided to publish Intelligent Fitness: the smart way to reboot your body and get in shapea book filled with the stars’ exact workout routines and anecdotes about their training.

Craig even wrote the foreword to the book, opening with praise for Waterson, whom he considers a friend: “Without Simon’s help and guidance, I would not have survived fifteen years playing to James Bond.”

Work on the Bind films is near and dear to Waterson, admitting it was his favorite project to work on not only because of the legacy the franchise holds in English culture, but also the scale of the production.

“It’s a cultural thing because we grew up with Bond. And it can sometimes be very typical English,” Waterson says. “But also, the nature of the movies, they’re so well done, it’s all really real. From my point of view as a trainer, there is a lot going on. So I can show my skills, I can be challenged on a daily basis, on a monthly basis. On a Bind film, the bar is always raised and you work with the best, the best in the world.

From my point of view as a trainer, there is a lot going on. So I can show my skills, I can be challenged on a daily basis, on a monthly basis.

But Waterson also praises Marvel for regularly keeping him employed by sending in superhero after superhero, including Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch, after seeing how he transformed Evans for the first time. Captain America movie.

It took a year of behind-the-scenes work before Evans was ready to step out of that hyperbaric chamber looking like an actual comic book action figure, meeting with director Joe Johnston and even creator Stan Lee to find out what they thought Captain America should look like.

“I’ll never forget the day they shot that pod scene. It was a big day for Chris but also a big day for me. I was standing on set next to Stan Lee, we were all watching the two Chris’s, and Stan’s words to me were, “Now it’s Captain America,” Waterson writes in the book.

But those 12 months of training were crucial, says Waterson. “It’s a Marvel thing, they give you time,” he explains. “The number of times I get productions coming in and saying in the call, ‘We need them to look like this in three weeks. And I’m just saying, wow, you don’t stand a chance. And you have to say that, you have to manage expectations. You have no chance of doing what you’re asking me to do.

Tom Hiddleston with Waterson’s book

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“With Marvel, bind, and a lot of movies that I’ve worked on, they’ve had someone with enough insight to say, these things take a long time. And if you want the best end product, you have to do it slowly, carefully, and not try to rush, because otherwise people get burned, injured, or sick.

“It is truly commendable to [Marvel] that they really support the actor in the characters they portray,” adds Waterson. “It’s so hard to turn a human into a cartoon character. To be an athlete like that, you need a lot of support, you need treatment support, nutritional support, you need the coach and you also need rest.

“And be very aware – don’t whip your actor to the ground, because he’ll just snap. They are really aware of people’s well-being and they are really nice to their actors. As long as the actors are invested, Marvel always gives their full support, complete infrastructure. They now know the process and they know what it takes.

And while Waterson has a pretty impressive client list on his resume, he says it would be a fun challenge to get to work with Leonardo DiCaprio or even Timothée Chalamet, suggesting he could be an option to play a young Tom Brady. in a biography. movie about the NFL star.

“I really like that stuff, because I’m a transformation guy,” Waterson says. “I think [DiCaprio] would be nice if he was in a really athletic role, all of a sudden he’s playing a boxer or he’s playing an athlete. That’s what I like, someone being challenged. I really like to take someone from scratch.