'Black Panther' fitness trainer Corey Calliet said the entire set was quiet as Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan exchanged what would be their final lines together, looking out past confines of the Atlanta production, and toward the sunset.
The 33-year-old trainer watched the exchange from his post. It was raw, full of emotion, honesty and doused with hints of fear. The script, the actors and the opportunity to see his work in the spotlight touched him.
“In the final scene between Chad and Michael, you feel that pain, that aggravation, everything – the intensity of the entire moment,” Calliet told Blavity. “When I was sitting on set and watching, that moment was no longer about me; it was about my work being involved in something greater.”
Calliet is a celebrity fitness trainer with a long-standing record of producing warrior physiques, including John Boyega, Lance Gross, ASAP Rocky and more. Calliet got his start as a body builder in 2008 and trained competitors.
“I learned how to transform people quickly. What body builders do in about eight to 10 weeks, one can’t do in a year,” Calliet said.
Everything changed when he got a call from a friend working on the most recent iteration of the “Fantastic Four” series.
Calliet recalls walking amongst the trailers on set when “Michael [B. Jordan] came out of his trailer. He saw me, and I saw him, and we exchanged numbers. We started working out, and it was upwards from there.”
Calliet would work with Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler on the film “Creed,” where the trio would solidify their longstanding connection, both on and off set.
“We’re like family,” Calliet said of Coogler and Jordan. “Our relationship has lasted so long because we have built a family environment instead of just a work environment. When I was working with Ryan on "Creed," he said, ‘If one of us fails, we all fail. We’re doing this together.’ And I felt that. We all had a job to do, and as close friends, were able to accomplish that.”
"Just in time for some of this warmer weather we've been having and with Spring approaching, celebrity trainer and body transformation specialist Corey Calliet has some tips for getting your body right for Summer and beyond." #tips https://t.co/rtkNdmGrt5 pic.twitter.com/xWJrTRiHJi— Jackson Clue (@jackclue6) February 16, 2018
Reuniting on “Black Panther,” Calliet worked heavily on conditioning with Jordan and Winston Duke, and partly with Angela Bassett. Calliet kept the actors on a schedule of morning workouts and found that endurance was their largest struggle, especially considering the circumstances.
“For a movie like that, you have to keep your energy while filming. The actors were fighting all day – running, jumping and kicking. Everyday felt like a football game,” Calliet said. “There were days when some cast mates were getting sick because they had to be out in the cold for so long, and I had to maintain a straight-up approach when encouraging those I was training. I would tell Michael, ‘You can either buckle up, or look bad. You make that decision.’ And when people realize they’re going to have so many eyes on them, they usually buckle up.”
Helping the actors to craft their Wakandan physique is not Calliet’s only source of pride; the movie’s existence is enough to fill Calliet with gratification.
“I feel like I’m a part of history,” Calliet said. “The first black fitness trainer for the first majority black Marvel movie. I’m representing my industry on this movie, and that means a lot to me. And as a black person it meant even more. To be a black man right now and working on a movie like that for Marvel? It’s amazing. With it being released during Black History Month, being a mostly all-black cast, and being supported by Marvel – it really made me feel like I was doing something for my culture and my people. Something that would be represented well and something that would be remembered.”
Calliet offers his expertise to those off-screen as well. Through his method called the Calliet Way – an intense form of training coupled with a lifestyle promoted by the mindfulness of taking oneself seriously in everything they do to accomplish one's goals – Calliet supports individuals on their journey to fitness. On signing up, his clients complete a questionnaire that aids Calliet in the transformation of their bodies.
“It’s a detailed program that I personally create for each individual. It’ll show you that you can do what you want and need to do, and that you don’t always have to have a trainer directly in front of you if you have all the details you need,” Calliet said. “I complete check-ins every two weeks and plan a diet for my clients based on carbohydrates, fats and proteins that is tailored to each person I work with.”
Calliet offers four programs on his website. Through his methods, everybody can look like a Wakandan.