Ben Cooke talks Snow White & the Huntsman

In 1937, Walt Disney Films released a film called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was Disney’s first animated film, and to this day it remains in the hearts of children and grown-ups alike. On June 1st, British director Rupert Sanders takes the classic story and twists it on his head.

The new vision, called Snow White and the Huntsman, stars Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) as Snow White, Charlize Theron (Prometheus) as the Evil Queen, and Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) as the Huntsman.

A huge part of the new take on this story are the action and fighting sequences, and Ben Cooke was the weapons trainer in charge of teaching the cast how to handle their weapons in the film.

AG: Who exactly did you train, and what did you train them in specifically?
BC: I trained Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Spruell, Sam Claflin and the seven dwarves. I trained them in empty hand fighting and also weapons training. Each cast member used different weapons.

AG: Who caught on the quickest?
BC: Everyone caught on very quickly. They all put time and effort into their own training. Each character was confident by the time the cameras were rolling.

AG: How did you get into this line of work?
BC: I have been training in different martial arts for over 30 years, competing for about 10 of them. This got me in the business back in New Zealand. I have been a stuntman for 20 years, working all over the world.

AG: How did you get involved in this project?
BC: A producer friend of mine got in touch with me about this movie. I then met with the director, and he had such a great vision that I really wanted to be involved.

AG: Are you familiar with the story of Snow White, and what did you think of this re-imagination of it?
BC: I am familiar. Rupert’s vision is cutting edge! Very stylish.

AG: What other films have you worked on, and which one has been your favorite?
BC: I have worked on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Batman, three James Bond films as Daniel Craig’s stunt double and fight choreographer, the Bourne Ultimatum to name a few… Every movie has its own qualities and rewards.

AG: What is your favorite form of training?
BC: Sitting on a beach relaxing in the sun on a day off! I try and stay fit and healthy all the time. I mix training up to stay motivated.

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