Deadline interview

Deadline interview: Daniel and David Holmes talk about their Cunning Stunts podcast.

Holmes started on Potter at 17, and due to his small stature, was a perfect double for an 11-year-old Radcliffe. But stunt coordinator Greg Powell also charged Holmes with helping Radcliffe get in physical shape to handle the stunts that would put his face front and center. “We were at Alnwick Castle and there’s a scene where Harry has to hit a ball with a bat,” Holmes recalls. “As soon as me and Greg saw Dan swing the bat, he just looked at me and went, ‘We’re going to have to do a bit of work with him, you know?’ It was just the way Dan was moving, you could tell he’d not come from any sort of athletic background.”

“That’s a polite way of saying it,” laughs Radcliffe. “Imagine being an 11-year-old boy and being told, ‘You’re going to run around on crash mats and jump on trampolines.’ It was kind of heaven. I do feel any actor who has an interest in doing stunts and wants to be involved in that stuff as much as they can, you need to build up a relationship with your stunt double, or at least the stunt department. If you don’t, they’ll never know what you’re capable of.”

On a 35-foot drop Hogwarts castle roof stunt for Goblet of Fire:

“They talked me through it and said, ‘It’s 35 feet. Do you think you can do that?’” Radcliffe recalls. “At 14 or 15, you’re full of bravado in front of a bunch of stuntmen, so I was like, ‘Yeah, of course I can.’”

“Dan was on a wire above a sloped, tiled roof,” Holmes explains. “He’s dropped from a static wire onto the roof, and then he starts his slide. The risk is the initial fall, which we padded him up for, and then the speed you build up as you slide down. Not only that, but he slid off the roof and pulled a broomstick over his shoulder to get it into his lap, and then landed on a crash mat at the bottom. It was a lot of things to think about in four or five seconds. But he was pukka; really good.”

“In retrospect, I look back on it and think it was pretty crazy that I was allowed to do that,” Radcliffe laughs. “35 feet is a lot higher than you think once you get up there.”

On the podcast interviews with stunt performers and coordinators:
“I think there’s a myth around stuntmen that they are just superhuman in some way,” Radcliffe says. “When the public see something really painful or horrible, they think it was a visual effect or that there’s some clever, safe way of doing it. Often that’s not the case. There’s no way of faking, for example, falling down stairs. When you get hit by a car, you’re still getting hit by a car, even if it’s going slower than it would. They find the safest way of doing it, but it can still hurt.”
They both feel it is past time the stunt community was recognized by the motion picture Academy with an Oscar category for the work they put in to do what they do:

“I literally broke my neck because people sit in front of a screen and want to go, ‘That was a good stunt,’” Holmes says. “Olivia Jackson lost an arm and paralyzed half her body on a Resident Evil production that didn’t have an insurance policy to cover her. We risk our lives for the sake of entertainment, so it’s a bit ridiculous when all other departments get recognized and we don’t.”

“If you can’t see the art of a brilliant stunt scene, you’re just not looking hard enough,” Radcliffe says. “I do think there’s a snobbery, but stunt work is an artform, and to do it well and do it safely is really, really hard.”

“But when you go through what happened with Dave or Olivia, or the many people we’ve talked to that have had severe things happen to them, you realize everyone has put their bodies on the line to make the things we love. It seems crazy not to acknowledge that.”

For the full interview: visit deadline.com.

source: deadline.com

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