STUFF OF LEGEND: Ingrid Berdal, Dwayne Johnson, Reece Ritchie and Rufus Sewell in Hercules.
STUFF OF LEGEND: Ingrid Berdal, Dwayne Johnson, Reece Ritchie and Rufus Sewell in Hercules. Kerry Brown

Dwayne Johnson eats up new Hercules movie role

DWAYNE Johnson let fans in on the secrets to his preparations for his latest film Hercules.

The actor, a former gridiron player who rose to fame as a wrestler in America's WWE, managed to pack even more muscle on to his already bulging frame to play the legendary Greek superhero.

The 42-year-old spent more than a year getting into shape for the film, which was shot in and around Budapest.

As well as hitting the gym twice a day, he spent six months eating the same seven protein-right meals every day.
 


"It's the most difficult role that I'd ever prepped for," he said. "You only have one crack at Hercules and you really want to make sure that you do it right.

"The idea was to create a character and a look on screen that hopefully we had never seen before in terms of physical transformation with my body.

"I wanted this version of Hercules to look like he'd survived, like he was raw."

And his strict workouts and diet plan have been followed closely by his more than seven million Twitter followers.

His recent series of #TeamHercules tweets showed followers how to "get ripped" and after several million replies and retweets Johnson has branded the campaign a "smack down" on the micro-blogging website.
 

 

Hercules has been on Johnson's dream roles list since he starred in his first major movie, The Mummy Returns, nearly 15 years ago.

"Hercules was one of the first properties I inquired about when I first got to Hollywood," he told fans at a recent sneak preview screening in Sydney.

"But it wasn't until five years ago or so myself and the two guys I consider my producing partners (Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia) started developing Hercules.

"(We thought there was) something really cool with the idea to do the definitive Hercules and make a movie that would hopefully stand the test of time."

Flynn, who also produces Johnson's next action epic San Andreas, which recently finished filming on the Gold Coast, said Hercules recreates the events that inspired the centuries-old legend.

"I think we address most of the mythology but then we break it down and deconstruct it and take it from the point of view of what really happened and then how since 358BC the story has evolved as we know it today," Flynn said.

"He's been exiled from Athens and now he's a mercenary roaming the lands.

"All of these myths and legends all started from some form of truth."

Home and Away heartthrob Stephen Peacocke has a small role in the film, playing Thracian soldier Stephanos.

Stephen Peacocke, right, in a scene from Hercules.
Stephen Peacocke, right, in a scene from Hercules. Kerry Brown

"He's a soldier who's kind of conscripted into the army," Peacocke said.

"This bloke Hercules turns up and he's the real deal and a bit of a legend.

"All of a sudden these blokes who don't want to fight are ready to follow this man into battle."

Hercules is in cinemas now.


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