Anyone who knows Travis Van Winkle and his "body works" in Hollywood knows that the 'Transformers' and 'Friday the 13th' star has one of the best bodies on screen there is.
After putting on ten pounds for the role of Cary Conrad on YOU, season three, he had to bend over and tear himself to pieces to play Aldon in the new season to join the cast of Arnold Schwarzeneggers Join Netflix's highly anticipated "FUBAR" action-comedy series.
M&F caught up with Van Winkle to find out what it was like working on set with the bodybuilding GOAT himself and how the star, who just turned 40, is still at the peak of his fitness.
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 lured out of retirement to save another agent, who surprisingly turns out to be his daughter. Joining the 'Terminator' and 'Predator' star is 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 Schwarzenegger.
"I've known Arnold my whole life," says Van Winkle of the impact the Austrian oak has made on popular culture around the world through its impact. "So I developed a relationship with him: I heard interviews, I watched Pumping Iron... and then when you meet him, you actually meet a whole person."
Van Winkle told M&F that the actor was quick to tell him all the things he respected and admired about the former California governor, to overcome the initial shock that most of us would feel when meeting the seven-time Mr. Olympia. "Once we got that sorted out, we could start building a relationship and friendship," says Van Winkle. "He was able to have a vision, a confidence and the ability to execute anything he's ever won. So he could manifest anything, and I think there's something really inspiring about that."
Courtesy of Netflix
How Travis Van Winkle impressed Arnold on the set of FUBAR
After gaining 10 pounds of muscle for his role in YOU season 3, Van Winkle set about transforming his physique to play a leaner and more toned secret agent. Luckily, his Herculean efforts did not go unnoticed. "There was a moment when he pulled me aside on set and said, 'Hey, you're done,'" beams Van Winkle. "And for Arnold Schwarzenegger to pull me aside and tell me I'm done, that meant a lot to me to hear because in the back of my mind, a part of me wanted his approval and that he would give it and bless my work." was worth it."
Courtesy of Netflix
How Travis Van Winkle got those "cheese grater" abs for FUBAR
"For this role, I (Aldon) wanted to be a lot slimmer," says Van Winkle. “I was looking for a slimmer frame. I was with the CIA. I would wear a suit, ten thousand dollar suits, and I wanted to be able to fit well in them.” The actor says working with trainer Grant Roberts on YOU thankfully helped him develop a mature muscle mass to achieve, which would remain even with calorie savings.
Van Winkle says he only had about six weeks to prepare before the production of FUBAR, so he reached out to Roberts again and they came up with a new schedule that called for him to train six times a week instead of five would sessions he conducted for "YOU". "And instead of doing 12, 10, 8, 6 reps on most of my sets, I actually increased them so I would be doing 20, 15, 12, 10 reps for each set," the star explains of the increase the reps, but not lifting as heavy.
These high-volume workouts have thrown him through bouts of fatigue, but of course Van Winkle has never had a problem finding reason to trust the process. "Let me tell you, the motivation is great when you're working on an Arnold Schwarzenegger show," he says. "So I wanted to compete in the best shape of my life, so I put a lot of work into that role."
Travis Van Winkle is battle fit at 40
Trained under the tutelage of Grant Roberts, Van Winkle isn't just one of those Hollywood guys with 'show muscles', and every time he visits Senegal he's brought up as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters' desire to build schools with them Sampled the help of Buildon, a charity for which Van Winkle is a global ambassador. "It was a second school that we built in Senegal," says the actor. "In Senegalese culture, they LOVE wrestling."
Van Winkle, who loves to mix things up, joked and got into a brawl in front of about 300 people on his birthday. After winning the fight, the star suspected that maybe the victory had come to him through mercy, so he claimed a second round and was able to claim the victory again. "It was a really nice moment for me," he says. With Hollywood and the wrestling opponents at his feet, could we see more of Van Winkle in action roles in the future? "I'm really open to whatever comes my way, it makes sense and feels like it's consistent," he concludes.
"FUBAR" will start streaming on Netflix on May 25th.