If you don’t know the name Corey Calliet, you’ve definitely admired his work. After meeting Michael B. Jordan on the set of Fantastic Four in 2014, the two hit it off as an unstoppable team. When MBJ first appeared muscular and ripped as the boxer Adonis, in Creed, everyone wanted to know how he’d trained, and who he’d trained with. That man was Corey Calliet.
Several years later, despite being in hot demand among A-list actors in Hollywood, and appearing on shows like Khloé Kardashian’s Revenge Body, the team of Jordan and Calliet is still hitting it out of the park.
Case in point: Jordan’s physique in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, now available on Amazon Prime Video, is the talk of Hollywood. Muscle & Fitness recently sat down at the learning tree for more on Corey’s approaches, experiences, and thoughts on this epic partnership.
Michael B. Jordan looked every inch to be Apollo Creed’s son, as Adonis. You must have felt immense pride?
The world went crazy, because people hadn’t seen the body transformation of an actor like that in a long time.
How difficult is it to get someone ready for a movie within a certain timeframe?
I take it one step at a time. I’m not someone who will just blow somebody through a crazy workout. We go really slow, but once I see that you are able to do a little bit more, I’m the one to stop your mind from holding you back, and give you the push to do it.
What was the toughest part of shooting Without Remorse? Was it the stunts, or the requirement for MBJ to look in such phenomenal shape?
With Mike, the hardest part was the conditioning, because I knew that we would be having long [shooting] days, and this was different from other movies, where we might do boxing in the first part of the movie (like in Creed) and then act. In Without Remorse, he had to be a soldier the whole time, and so it was about building up his conditioning so that he could act and be a soldier, because he had to carry all the military equipment.
If you look at Without Remorse, we did a lot of night shoots. So, he had to take his body from the normalcy or being up in the day, to then having to do everything at night time. So, when we trained, it was more about being consistent and doing endurance type training so
that he could endure the whole movie and not be tired, because that’s where we could end up hurting ourselves.
Not only were you part of the crew as a fitness coach, but you also appear in the movie! What was the Navy SEAL training like?
We had to do two to three months of training in four days. So that type of training, where you just wake up in the morning and eat, train, bed, eat, train, bed, was different. The physical side of working out, I can control, but when you are being physical with a big gun strapped to the side of you, and real bullets, that’s totally different. It’s about repetition. Anything that you do over and over, the correct way, you’re gonna get good at it. We were out there doing bounding, and different drills, and we had to perfect everything. I didn’t realize how seriously the SEALs take it when actors in movies are trying to portray them, so you had to carry your gun a certain kind of way.
MBJ had to work incredibly hard on his look, for that famous prison fight sequence. How easy is it to maintain that level of conditioning?
A real fitness person can stay in that kind of shape, but for an actor that has to play different roles, I’ll be honest with you, a normal person couldn’t keep that up, because it’s a job. I was a bodybuilder for 8 years and it was a job to walk around at 240 pounds with abs all of the time. There’s a difference between looking good, and looking great. Looking good is amazing, then all you have to do is tune it up, so a normal person can look great all the time, but just know that it’s going to take discipline, it’s going to take work ethic, and consistency, and sacrifice.
You also worked with Jodie Turner-Smith on the movie?
We worked together for a couple of weeks. I did physical training with her. I just needed to keep her going because that’s one of the most important things, making sure that you are conditioned enough to sustain (the pace) throughout the entire movie. We did a lot of plyometrics but not too much weight training because she was already having to carry a gun around all the time. We did a lot of cardiovascular work to keep her heart rate up.
Were there some tough times in training?
Every day. I try to break people. [laughs] The thing is this: if its easy for you then its not going to work. When I see that you have it, I’ll want you to do more because that’s how you
get your mind to be mentally strong, and when your mind is mentally strong, your body looks even better.
How difficult was it to work gym sessions around the filming schedule?
Mike would get back from set at 2 or 3 a.m. and we’d go downstairs right to the gym for a workout, and then he can go and sleep. That takes dedication and it takes pride in yourself because you want (to do the best work) for yourself. I was definitely proud of him.
You’ve made a great transition from being a bodybuilder to becoming a celebrity fitness coach, working on movies. Are you enjoying it?
There’s no Hollywood class (for celebrity personal trainers). There’s a whole lot of celebrity trainers out here (in LA), but for me it was random. My mentor had been contacted about working on the Fantastic Four movie, but he couldn’t do it, so he put my name forward. I called the guy (from the studio), and the first thing I did was tell him to look at my Instagram because I don’t believe in just saying what you can do, I believe in showing by results. Within a week I was on my first Marvel set.
Anyone can call themselves a celebrity trainer, but you know you really are one when you are training REAL celebrities. In my first movie, I waited until the end of the movie to see my name on the end credits. To this day, I’ve done so many movies, and I’ll still wait.