What does a quality workout look like now? How would you break down your training routine?
Sometimes it varies, depending if I’m traveling. Generally speaking, I run 4 days a week. I do 6 miles. If I’m working that day and I have an early call time, I’ll wake up at 4 in the morning and run before work. If I’m not working that day on a set, then I’ll run usually around 8 in the morning. That’s 4 days a week, sometimes 5 days a week. Then I do weights 4 days a week on top of that. Typical push, pull, legs and then one day everything that I’ve missed, and I do abs all of those days.
Did you play sports growing up?
I wouldn’t exactly call it playing sports. I sat on the bench a lot in games, and I’d run up and down the court and avoid getting the ball passed to me because I was so frightened of having to actually shoot it. I was not an athlete, in other words.
How’s the training process for you to get in shape for Marvel and DC?
I don’t play a superhero—I play a civilian. I get to live like a civilian and not have to do much, specifically for those roles. While I was playing those parts I definitely was a lot less mindful of my exercise and nutrition. If I come back—if you see Jimmy Woo again, or Stephen Shin in DC—hopefully they’ll be in a lot better shape.
Do you have any crazy stories about getting in shape for a role?
I have crazy stories about getting out of shape for a role. When I played Kim Jong-un in The Interview, the plan was to put me in prosthetics to make me heftier. But we did a screen test and it just didn’t look that right, so they decided to not do the prosthetics two weeks before my first day of shooting. I was like, oh, no, I think I’m not in the best shape, but I think I should be heavier for this part. For those next two weeks before shooting I ate everything in Vancouver. I was eating everything that I would normally stay away from: donuts, carbs, pizza, hot dogs. I probably did it in the most unhealthy way, but within those two weeks I gained about 15 pounds. It was glorious. I enjoyed it so much.
What did you do to lose the weight again?
I just kind of snapped back into my regular lifestyle. I think it took me a long time to lose it because I didn’t consciously give myself a deadline. I just kind of went back to my lifestyle at the time and slowly lost the weight. Now that I’m 49, I wish I would’ve approached it more mindfully, which is what I’m doing now.
How do you approach balancing a busy work schedule with maintaining a healthy diet?
For me the best thing is to write everything down and to be very strict on that. Because If I’m on set, oftentimes the food that’s available isn’t the most healthy. And sometimes I just can’t help it—I’m starving or I’m getting really tired and I need a pick-me-up. I’ll see a cookie in front of me and eating the cookie will be great, but it’ll feel terrible writing down the word cookie in that book. This practice of logging everything has really helped me be more aware of what I’m consuming, and on set it helps because I’m forcing myself to be conscious of everything I’m putting in my body.