There’s a lot of chit-chat going around that today’s movies aren’t as great as they used to be.
While this might be the case for some (seriously, what is with shark torandos?), it definitely isn’t the case for others.
First and foremost, when you group together Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron in one single movie, you know it’s going to make it to the list of ‘Greatest Movies Ever Made.’
But while we’ll watch any movie that stars Zac Efron in it over and over (and over x1000) again, there is one man that actually makes this group of hot celebs a million times more incredible: Shannon Holtzapffel.
Okay, his last name isn’t as hard to pronounce as it looks. But if you don’t know him by his real name, you will most certainly recognise his face, friggin big muscles, and amaze-balls dance moves in The Greatest Showman, where he starred as the mighty Prince Constantine…or the ‘tattoo man’.
But becoming absolute #biffels with the most well-known Hollywood stars doesn’t just happen overnight like we’ve all dreamed about (did we mention he has also worked with Ryan Gosling in La La Land!?).
Taking on roles in movies, music videos and TV shows is no easy task. Exhibit A: being one of the masterminds behind everyone’s favourite movie, Happy Feet, where he was involved in the whole process from workshopping it, to developing character movements.
He was so involved in the role that he even went along to penguin school. Yes. There is a school. For. Penguins. Pretty please can we trade lives?
“We watched documentaries and literally our job was to study penguins and their movement,” he exclusively told myBody+Soul.
We had to learn and embody a penguin’s movements and then we moulded that into choreographed dance steps and exaggerated movements.”
As much as we would love to go to penguin school, the hard work and months of training kind of intimidates us.
For majority of us, it takes months, or even years, to transform our bodies – whether it’s weight loss, wanting to bulk up, or even maintaining a lean figure.
But in the world of professional dancing, there ain’t time for this to happen. In fact, Shannon needed to change his body at the speed of lightening to bulk up for his role in The Greatest Showman.
“For the first nine months I worked on the creative side before I stepped into the actual physical role on building the elements of the film, and during that period I was living my normal everyday life. But by the time I got to rehearsal periods, we were rehearsing three to four days a week and then I’d be working with the actors every other day.”
On top of rehearsing for eight hours every day (we’re talking continuous cardio), he rode his bike to work AND made sure he hit the gym at night for an hour of weight training.
It sounds tiring and stressful AF (and something we normal people could never do), but Shannon says that fuelling your body with enough food is the key to not losing motivation.
“Sometimes to stay fit or look fit people cut out foods and that’s not right. You should always fuel your body because you’re going to be happier and heathier in the long-run.”
To sustain his energy levels and get buff for the role in The Greatest Showman, he started his days of with a big brekkie of “scrambled eggs with a piece of bacon for a special treat and a rye toast,” alongside some orange juice and coffee.
“The way I look at it is you do treat your body like an athlete. I always have carbs unless I need to be really lean, or I would stop eating carbs after 4pm but this is me being really strict.”
And when he says he eats carbs, he really means he eats and loves carbs – aka. pasta.
“I enjoy my Italian food – pasta and pizza. I love my pasta and I would always have to have Italian in my life.” Samez.
So what we’ve gathered from his charisma is that he is one motivated human being and talented dancer. But what Shannon wants everyone to know is that every dream can be achieved if you try hard enough. Sounds cheesy, but take it from the guy who had his eyes on the prize before he was four years-old.
“I didn’t come from an entertainment family so I didn’t have any direct influence. It was purely from watching music videos on TV, and watching musicals on VHS or live television performances.”
“I would start to copy moves like Jean Kelly, Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, and then by age four or five my parents realised I just wanted to dance.”
Although we’re all still scrambling to find out what our secret natural talent is, Shannon encourages everyone to just invest the time into whatever interests you – and this my friends, will get you what you want.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell someone there is a shortcut to do something. I’ve always believed that hard work will get you there.
You actually have to have the patience within a career and longevity. I think the best you can be is after you put the time and energy into it.”
Spoken like a true Showman.
Bring home The Greatest Showman spectacle on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital.
Want to get fit through dance? Clubbercise is the newest trend that has hit Australia and it will help you torch fat fast. Plus, check out Roxy Jacenko’s workout that gave her abs.
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Fitness | body+soul