HOW BYRON MANN LOOKS THIS GOOD AT 51
BYRON MANN, LAST SEEN IN THE HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER SKYSCRAPER, AND NETFLIX’S ALTERED CARBON, SHARES HOW HE’S MADE MOSTLY THE RIGHT LIFE DECISIONS, AND MAINTAINED A SIX-PACK BODY IN THE PROCESS.
The Hong Kong star who broke into Hollywood shares what it takes to get this ripped despite hitting his fifties.
SSome background- despite a long list of film and TV show credits on his IMDB page, the truth is Byron’s destiny wasn’t supposed to be an actor. His father was a dentist, his mother a nurse, his elder brother a doctor, and his second brother went to business school. Pretty much the stereotypical Asian success story- and Byron was meant to join the club as the family lawyer.
He played the role well at the start, going to law school and managing to snag a great internship at a law firm in Hong Kong. But that’s when the story began to change, he reveals to Men’s Health.
“Usually at the end of the internship, my boss would give an appraisal of how we did, and it’s usually pretty positive, and as senior partner he’d give some kind of confirmation that we were on the right track”, the 51-year old shares.
“But my talk with him shocked me- he told me to my face that the law wasn’t right for me,” Byron laughs, adding, “so I asked why, and he said I was late every morning and looking at my watch at 5pm waiting to go off every day!” So now he had a real problem- what to do next? At 22, the only thing he remembered really enjoying was acting in high school for some school performance. Byron pivoted- he had two years left of law school but got full on into acting, and managed to score gigs, even getting into his first movie. “I couldn’t believe people would pay me for act- I was enjoying it so much!”
Once he forged his path into acting, there was no turning back. “In fact I threw my hat over the fence- I didn’t even have a backup plan,” he reveals. “But you know the saying- if you find a job you love you’ll never work another day in life- it’s that spirit that helped me get the where I am today!” And he’s certainly gotten far, most recently
I COULDN’T BELIEVE PEOPLE WOULD PAY ME FOR ACT- I WAS ENJOYING IT SO MUCH!”
scoring big Hollywood roles in movies like Skyscraper, which boasted Dwayne Johnson- The Rock himself- in the lead.
One of the key reasons for Byron’s success is how he’s carved a niche in action-firms. In case you didn’t know, he played Ryu in the famous (or infamous) Street Fighter movie in 1994 alongside Jean Claude Van Damme’s Guile, and also played a crucial character in the comic-book-turned-TV series Arrow. Most recently, he was seen strutting his bod in a Netflix series called Altered Carbon. How did he build a physique this ripped in his 50’s?
“Now I’ve always been fit, but this show might be the physically toughest role I’ve ever taken on,” he says. “It’s a science-fiction series- half the show my shirt is off, and they were really specific about how ripped I’d have to be for the role. I had two different trainers- one helped with gaining muscle, which meant carb loading on a different level. Every three hours I was having a meal,” the star exclaims.
And the sacrifice wasn’t exactly easy for Byron, who admits: “I had to cut out anything with sugar- muffins, bread, rice, noodles- and you know how hard that is for us Asians!” He’d have red rice and brown rice instead, and hours-long workout sessions with burpees, skipping rope, pull-ups and chin-ups. “We used free-weights a lot- the aim was to burn fat and get shredded at the same time. Normally folks take months to do this, but I had seven weeks to get it done!”
At the end of every day he was pretty much crawling back into bed. Supplements helped, he reveals, saying:”
I’d take BCAAs and protein supplements, but still the pain was real. But at least I’ve been there done that. Left to my natural self, I’d hang out at coffee shops and just eat terribly, but the sacrifice was worth it. “
He also revealed his diet protip- between drinking orange juice and simply eating an orange, always opt for the latter. “Orange juice is full of sugar, while an orange has just the right amount you should take, and fibre as well!” Over the course of the Altered Carbon shoot, Byron developed a “sugar-radar”- and it made all the difference in building the body he needed for the role. “In fact, for guys, most of the paunch and belly comes from sugar in food, drink, or alcohol! Cut that out and you lose the spare tyrewithin two weeks, my waist became slimmer and tighter!” Byron also shared what he missed most during his dietblueberry muffins. “God, I love those- it’s what I missed most. On the day when Altered Carbon wrapped, I went straight to the bakery, bought a big-ass blueberry muffin and shoved it into my mouth!”
Going by how he looks, this Mann’s certainly earned it!