Asa Butterfield on Kale

(Image credit: Unknown)

What’s your most impressive personal best?

I can type the alphabet in under two seconds, but that doesn’t take much fitness. I used to play rugby – I played at Wembley once. My school was part of a Hackney Youth Rugby tournament, and I got tackle of the match – I got this huge guy, and was like “Fuck yes!” Then in the same match, don’t ask me how, I managed to hit myself in the face with my own studs.

Is the stuntman an actor’s best friend?

I like doing my own stunts whenever I can, but in this film there was mainly just a lot of running and swimming, and I can do that anyway! It wasn’t like Ender’s Game where there was a whole training protocol both for the wire work as well as the military training – it wasn’t nearly that intense in terms of physical exertion. The swimming was harder though – we’d go underwater with divers and they’d have the tanks or hand you the respirator, but you couldn’t have a mask on so you just had to open your eyes and try your best to look comfortable.

Have you ever pulled a muscle in less-than-heroic circumstances?

I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled a muscle in my jaw, just eating – it’s embarrassing because you can’t actually finish the food you’ve got in your mouth…

Which excuse for not going to the gym or working out are you most ashamed of?

I never have a good excuse, it’s always just that I can’t be arsed. I used to go but I stopped because I’m not a real gym person. Some people get a pump out of going, but it’s just like torture, I don’t get it at all. Riding my bike around is probably the most exercise I get.

So you couldn’t be the next Thor?

For a role, if they sorted it out, got me a personal trainer and made it as easy as possible so I didn’t have to motivate myself to go to the gym, then yeah, I’d do that. I’m just waiting for that movie I guess…

What’s your position on kale?

I love it. I get some delivered to me every week. Only joking, but I’ve just moved out of home and I’m starting to do my own thing and sort my own space out, so I’ve cooked it for myself. My dad also makes a really rich kale dish – it’s a surprising vegetable.

How often do you take selfies in the gym?

I don’t, and I don’t see that many to be honest – when I do, it’s like “Fair enough mate, good on you, each to their own.” I’ll take a selfie of me sat at my computer with a Nutella bagel in my hand, playing a game of Fallout.

What’s the most extreme thing you’ve done in the name of good health or fitness?

I was a vegetarian for 12 years, but that wasn’t my choice, that was my mum. Then I thought “I can’t do this any more,” and had a KFC. I’m not really a fit person to be honest, I’m a bit of a slob and I’d rather just chill out on my sofa and play games. I go to the park for a picnic, not a run.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Staying at home for the evening and eating junk food and watching TV. I think that’s most people’s guilty pleasure, but I seem to have a habit of indulging that guilty pleasure most days. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without alcohol in the name of good health?

Whenever I go to America it’s pretty tricky. I was filming there last year and – I don’t know if I should be saying this – I was in Albuquerque and you had to be 21 to drink. I had some mates out there and they stocked me up for the entire trip, filled up my fridge with all these spirits and mixers – I was there for nine weeks and I couldn’t finish it all. Honestly I’m not a big drinker though, I just like a cold beer on a hot day.

Have you ever vaped?

I’ve tried it, and it tastes quite nice. If I started smoking would I vape? I probably would for health reasons, and I know a lot of people that vape. You look like a bit of a nonce, but at least you’re not going to die early…

Former staff writer

Gary Ogden wrote for the print edition of Coach between 2015 and 2016, writing features, interviewing celebrities and covering entertainment. He has also written for ShortList.