1. “Building a Bigger Action Hero” A mere six-pack doesn’t cut it in Hollywood anymore. Today’s male stars need 5 percent body fat, massive pecs, and the much-coveted inguinal crease—regardless of what it takes to get there.
“The last-minute pump comes right before the cameras roll. Philip Winchester, the hero of Cinemax’s action series Strike Back, recalls seeing the technique for the first time on the set of Snatch: ’Hundreds of extras were standing around,’ he recalls, ’and Brad Pitt would drop down and do 25 push-ups before each scene. I thought, “Why is he showing off?”’ Then Winchester figured it out. ’I realized he was just jacking himself up: getting blood flowing to the muscles. I’d always wondered, “How do actors look so jacked all the time?” Well, they don’t. Now we ask: Is it a push-up scene? When I shot that Strike Back poster, I was doing push-ups like a madman, saying, “Take the picture now! Take it now!”’”