Corey Calliet is more than a celebrity trainer. Though the former body builder has a list of celebrity clients and a role on the E! reality show Revenge Body, Caillet is most famous for being the body transformation specialist who sculpted Michael B. Jordan into the sleek, ripped boxer Adonis Creed in the 2015 Rocky franchise installment Creed. Calliet's name was everywhere again earlier this year when people saw the results of his handiwork in Black Panther when Jordan's massive physique was on display as the Marvel villain Erik Killmonger. In the sequel Creed 2, Calliet went to work again, using the Killmonger foundation to launch Jordan's body to a whole nother stratosphere. He also gets to appear on screen as a part of Creed's crew.
Shadow and Act caught up with Calliet at MusclePharm gym in Burbank, CA to talk about how he connected with Jordan and why he considers his work to be an art form.
His first opportunity to work with Jordan, he says, was all divine intervention.
"It’s random because I never check my voicemail and it just so happened that I was coming from church and checked my voicemail," Calliet tells Shadow and Act of the 2014 phone call inviting him down to New Orleans to train the cast of Fantastic Four. "So, I feel like it was a blessing from God."
When Calliet met Jordan, who was playing Johnny Storm in the film (and wasn't very buff), they connected instantly.
"When I met Michael B. Jordan on the set of Fantastic Four, he had never really trained like that before, and so I bulked him up to get him ready for [that movie]. Of course, being with someone every single day, we became friends and like family really fast." When filming for the movie was over, Jordan didn't want Calliet's training to end, so when it was time to prepare for Creed, Jordan called Calliet and asked him to come to L.A. to keep training him.
But transforming a body is no easy task. Calliet's specific skills allowed him to chisel Jordan in the way a professional boxer needs to be.
"I think what I do different from a whole lot of trainers is I can make you look really, really good and craft you and design you to look how you need to look really fast," he says. But that requires an understanding of the role an actor is playing.
"First you have to understand the character. You can't get in football shape to play a boxer," he says. "Understanding what he was trying to do, and understanding him, I was able to create (the body) I wanted to create with him. Understanding what he can and can't do, introducing him to nutrition, introducing him to weight training, introducing him to consistency in the gym, which he didn't have.
Pleased with the results, Jordan brought Calliet to the Black Panther set where Calliet became the lead trainer and took Jordan's body to the next level.
"I needed to make him look like a villain," Caillet tells Shadow and Act about bulking Jordan up for the role. S&A caught up with him at MusclePharm gym in Burbank, CA to see how the . "I wouldn't have took Adonis Creed in Creed seriously against T'Challa in Black Panther," he says. "So I had to make Mike get big. I went to my bodybuilding background...what I know well, to mass him up...just enough to sell the character."
It definitely worked.
"Now, with Creed II, you're going to see a more chiseled, more conditioned, more ripped physique," Calliet said.
Watch our video interview with him to see who he'd pick in a fight between Killmonger and Creed 2's Adonis:
The good news is that Calliet doesn't exclusively work with celebrities. His work to fight childhood obesity and as a motivational speaker has positioned him to speak new life into masses who want to transform their bodies.
"The same thing that goes for an actor, can go for you too," he says to the everyday person. "You can train four, five, six times a day. You can eat four good meals a day," he says. "Good meals" he says, are "some type of protein, chicken, fish, or steak, or turkey." He also throws in "some vegetables, some rice, avocado for fats," to round out the meal. "Don't be afraid of carbs, first of all. It all depends on when you eat them," he says to those who think carbs are totally off limits. If you feel yourself getting offtrack in your health plan, he tells his clients to do two things: "Turn your head to the left, turn your head to the right, and tell yourself, 'no.'" He says with a smile.
"But the main thing is, if you eat right and you train, your body will change, 100%. Believe that."