Extraction | Randeep Hooda: Focused on bodyweight exercises, agility work

Updated: Apr 22, 2020, 08:19 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

Polo player Randeep Hooda explains how training with physical genius Chris Hemsworth for Extraction made him ditch his traditional methods.

Chris Hemsworth and Randeep Hooda in Extraction
Chris Hemsworth and Randeep Hooda in Extraction

Despite being armed with years of equestrian training, Randeep Hooda recalls being "daunted" to commence physical prep work with Chris Hemsworth for Extraction. The actor's fears were not unwarranted when one considers how Hemsworth punched his way through 22 Marvel films as the superhero Thor, only to go on and launch one of the most successful fitness platforms in Hollywood.

"We'd train together almost each day. Chris said he didn't benefit from traditional gym training for his action [films] and hence took to [functional and agility work]. When I'd ask him why he'd do shoulder presses with one hand, he'd tell me how it worked in improving his core strength. [I too changed the way] I used the muscles of the core and shoulders," says Hooda, adding that despite being as famous as he is, the Australian star's demands during his India sojourn were rather trifling.

"The only thing he wanted was organic food, which his [nutritionist] would cook for him. All the stuff that his team did, inspired me to change the traditional way I [trained]. I took to compound movements, and learnt the importance of [practising] bodyweight [exercises]. Developing presence of mind and command over the body to enable it to do everything you want it to do, was [my biggest takeaway] during our three-week rehearsals before we rolled," says Hooda, who battles Hemsworth in a series of high-octane action sequences in the upcoming Netflix offering.

For debutant director Sam Hargrave, working on Extraction was both a familiar and alien experience at once. While on one hand, the former stuntman for Avengers' Captain America was reuniting with Hemsworth and producers Russo Brothers, on the other, he was exploring the unfamiliar terrain of India, where his film is based, and even employing languages that he couldn't himself comprehend.

"It is due to Sam's vision that we could create this world. We went through a lot of rehearsals [for the combat sequences]. Sam, along with the action team, ensured that the physicality was on point, and the scenes were realistic. I'd also watch the stuntmen, who had peculiar ways of training. They'd practice low-ground work, and take to exercises to strengthen the joints and ligaments. I'd watch them in awe as they performed martial arts and flips."

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