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Violent Night's David Harbour Finally Breaks Down How One Trains To Embody Santa Claus

Being the mythical figure of Santa Claus has got to be quite the task. Besides flying across the world and delivering an untold amount of gifts over the course of a single night, Santa Claus' entire diet consists of cookies and milk, which has got to be hard on the heart and gut. Joking aside, there have been several different takes on the popular folklore character. Santa Claus has been his stereotypical presence in many movies, though there have been versions like "The Santa Clause" franchise where the role of Santa is inherited, "Rise of the Guardians" where Santa duel-wields swords, and, of course, the upcoming "Violent Night," where Santa is recruited to protect a family from terrorists.

In "Violent Night," Santa Claus (David Harbour) isn't settling with just delivering coal to bad people and instead takes a much more direct route that would make a character like Keanu Reeves' John Wick proud. Typically known for his role in "Stranger Things," Harbour has also lent his talents to the rebooted "Hellboy" movie, where he was laden with make-up and special effects. However, "Violent Night" doesn't appear to be as taxing in the costume department for Harbour, though he has recently spoken about the training he underwent to become jolly ol' Saint Nick, and it doesn't involve eating one's weight in cookies or sprinting across the globe.

David Harbour utilized different forms of combat in preparing for the role of Santa Claus

The trailer for "Violent Night" sets the pace for the movie, and it shows what might happen if cutthroat hostage takers come up against a figure best known for delivering toys to children. However, this group of mercenaries makes the mistake of not realizing who they are up against and underestimates what kind of physical strength a person who has spent years hauling a massive amount of toys up and down chimneys might do to one's physique.

Speaking with Yahoo! News, David Harbour joked that he had skipped right past a Santa Claus trainer, like somebody who might train shopping mall Santas and instead focused on his ability to deliver a convincing sledgehammer blow. Harbour elaborated by saying, "My training was very different. My training for Santa Claus was jiu-jitsu and Greco-Roman wrestling. But that would have been very interesting to talk to a [Santa Claus trainer]."

Harbour continued and explained that he also did tons of research into different iterations and folklore surrounding Santa Claus and that "Violent Night" lifts some of these classic story elements about the mythical figure but invents its own origin story that casts the character in a different light with a warrior background. This helps explain how Santa in "Violent Night" is able to engage in combat so effectively, and it will be interesting to see Harbour's portrayal of a very different kind of Santa Claus.