“Why not also reward the people who keep our role models in peak condition?”
It’s no secret that celebrities go through some major body transformations for their on-screen roles–and they definitely don’t get there alone. That’s why Reebok president Mark O’Toole believes the trainers behind the scenes deserve to be recognized for their hard work, too.
In an open letter to John Bailey, newly-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, O’Toole wants to celebrate the accomplishments of trainers with a new Academy award category called Best Fitness Trainer.
“We believe we must honor the bodies we’ve been given. And I’m asking you to honor those who help propel our favorite artists to fame and fortune along the way,” he writes.
“There are hundreds of major motion picture actors and actresses that transform their bodies for roles each year. Fans cheer for them during thrilling stunt scenes and weep for them when their characters lose a pinnacle fight,” the letter continues to read. “While their performances are lauded, their practice is not. The best scenes and storylines today often require amazing physical transformations, and actors and actresses rely heavily on a small field of expert trainers to get them in fighting, flying and filming shape.”
From Charlize Theron kicking ass in Atomic Blonde to Margot Robbie showing off her toned abs in Suicide Squad, it’s clear that trainers play a crucial role in ensuring that their clients meet a film’s physical demands.
O’Toole points out that the Academy has handed out the Best Makeup and Hairstyling award for the last 36 years and recognized leading sound mixers since 1930. He asks for fitness trainers to receive the same recognition: “Why not also reward the people who keep our role models in peak condition?”
“These people often hail from outside the glitz of Hollywood. They’ve crafted their expertise on the playing field, in their garage gyms and even defending our country,” he concludes. “Their diverse backgrounds mean they are not traditional movie heroes, but ask any motion picture star and they will tell you, these are the people who power the scenes and stories fans love so much.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to The Academy for comment.