Mindhunters Holt McCallany Is Big Into Jiu-Jitsu, MMA and Boxing

Mindhunters Holt McCallany Is Big Into Jiu-Jitsu, MMA and Boxing



Mindhunters is one of the more interesting series to have premiered in 2017. In it we follow the inception of the Behavioural Sciences Unit that ultimately reformed the way we look at serial murder. A big part of the crime show is Holt McCallany the no nonsense cop paired with the main protagonist Holden.

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McCallany has a long list of credits including Fight Club, Alien 3, Jack Reacher and boxing series Lights Out.

McCallany completely dedicated himself to the role, shooting for 10 months in frigid-cold Pittsburgh and going through a bit of a body transformation, gaining 25lbs to play a guy who, in McCallany’s words, “drinks too much, eats crappy food, is on the road 40 weeks a year, and whose only exercise is an occasional round of golf.”

According to Men’s fitness interview:

For a guy like McCallany, who spends his free time on boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, high-intensity workouts, and Bikram yoga (his secret weapon for healing injuries faster), transforming into Tench provided a bit of challenge, but McCallany was up for it. The toughest part? All the smoking.

“Bill’s a guy in his 50s who chain smokes,” McCallany says. “I guess on the show they have me at 44, which is very generous of them. I should send the writers a gift [laughs]. But David does a lot of takes, and like I said, you can pay a price when you decide to play a character a certain way. [Bill] is a big smoker, and it’s the ’70s, so I’m just smoking all the time while we’re shooting. We went through so many packs on the show, there were times when I was lightheaded. People say, ‘Can’t you smoke the herbal cigarettes?’ Well, no—they don’t look the same on film, and they don’t burn the same way. We wanted to be as realistic as possible.”

When he trained in mixed martial arts, McCallany got the chance to work with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten.

“It was amazing being able to train with these guys that are on the top level of the sport,” McCallany says. “Bas is a legend. Atlas is a legend. Breland is a legend. I was fortunate enough to be there because of my work as an actor, but they were willing to accept me, because they knew that I was there to learn and because I was genuinely interested and loved the sport. I love boxing. I even took an amateur fight for USA Boxing in what they call the Master’s Division, for guys that are over 35, and I won a three-round decision. I’ve been really, really lucky to be able to work with some of these guys.”