Anyone familiar with Travis Van Winkle and his Hollywood “body” of work will know that the “Transformers” and “Friday the 13th” star has one of the best physicalities onscreen.
Having gained 10 pounds of muscle to play Cary Conrad in the third season of ‘YOU,’ joining the cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s highly anticipated ‘FUBAR’ on Netflix forced him to bend over and get shredded to play Aldon in the new action-comedy series.
M&F caught up with Van Winkle to find out what it was like working on set with the GOAT bodybuilder himself, and how, having recently turned 40, the star is still in his prime.
Travis Van Winkle Was Inspired By Arnold Schwarzenegger While Filming ‘FUBAR’
In “FUBAR,” Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his television series debut as a CIA agent who is tricked into coming out of retirement to rescue another agent who, surprisingly, turns out to be his daughter. The ‘Terminator’ and ‘Predator’ star is joined by an all-star cast including comedian Fortune Feimster, Monica Barbaro, and of course; Travis Van Winkle, who plays secret agent Aldon. But, as you’d expect, even an established and talented actor like Van Winkle has to pinch himself when working on set with the legend that is Schwarzenegger.
“I’ve known Arnold all my life,” Van Winkle says of the impact Austrian oak has had on the world through its influence on popular culture. “So I built a relationship with him: I listened to interviews, I watched ‘Pumping Iron’…and then meeting him, you actually meet a full human.”
Van Winkle said M&F that to move past the initial phase of starstruck that most of us would feel when meeting the seven-time Mr. Olympia, the actor quickly told him all the things he respected and admired about the former governor of California. “Once we sorted that out, we were able to start building a relationship and a friendship,” says Van Winkle. “He was able to have vision, self-confidence and the ability to execute everything that he’s ever won. So he was able to manifest everything, and I think there’s something really inspiring about that. subject.
How Travis Van Winkle impressed Arnold on the set of FUBAR
Having gained 10 pounds of muscle for his role in the third season of YOU, Van Winkle set about reconfiguring his physique in order to play a leaner, seriously ripped secret agent. Fortunately, his herculean efforts did not go unnoticed. “There was a moment when he pulled me aside on set, and he said, ‘Hey, you’re torn,'” Van Winkle beams. “And for Arnold Schwarzenegger to pull me aside and tell me I’m torn, it meant a lot to me to hear that, because in the back of my mind there was a part of me that wanted his approval, and for that gives his blessing that my work has borne fruit.
How Travis Van Winkle Achieved Those “Cheese Grater” Abs For “FUBAR”
“For this role, I wanted (Aldon) to be a lot thinner,” says Van Winkle. “I was looking for more of a skinny frame. I was at the CIA. I would wear a suit, ten thousand dollar suits, and I wanted to be able to fit in well. The actor says that luckily working with coach Grant Roberts to “YOU,” helped him achieve mature muscle mass that would stay even when cutting calories.
Van Winkle says he only had about six weeks of prep time before production on “FUBAR“, and so he contacted Roberts again, and they came up with a new plan that saw him train six times a week rather than the five sessions he did during”YOU.” “And, instead of doing 12, 10, 8, 6 reps for most of my sets, I actually increased it so that I was doing 20, 15, 12, and 10 reps for each set,” the star explains. , explaining that he increased the number of reps but didn’t lift as much weight.
These high-volume workouts forced him to struggle with bouts of fatigue, but of course Van Winkle never had a problem finding a reason to trust the process. “Let me tell you, the motivation is high when you’re working on a show with Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he says. “So I wanted to come in, in the best shape of my life, and so I put in a lot of work for this role.”
Travis Van Winkle is in good shape at 40
Thanks to his training under Grant Roberts, Van Winkle isn’t just one of those Hollywood hunks with “show muscle,” and is put to the test every time he visits the Senegal as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters desire to build schools with the help of Build, a charity of which Van Winkle is a global ambassador. “It was a second school we were building in Senegal,” the actor shares. “In Senegalese culture, they LOVE wrestling.”
After joking around, Van Winkle, who loves to mix things up, found himself in a fight in front of around 300 people on his birthday, no less. After winning the fight, the star suspected he may have gotten the win out of pity, so he called for a second round and was able to claim victory again. “For me, it was a very beautiful moment,” he shares. With Hollywood and wrestling opponents at his feet, could we see more Van Winkle in action roles in the future? “I’m really open to whatever comes my way, and I feel like it’s in alignment,” he concludes.
“FUBAR” will air on netflix from May 25.