Please Explain: Stunts

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jumping off buildings, running from a car engulfed in flames, getting into a brawl with a villain all some of the feats we see frequently in movies—and they’re performed by stuntmen (and women). Two experts join us to explain how stunts are performed in movies and on television: Hal Needham worked as a stuntman on more than 300 feature films and he was a pioneer in improving stunt technology and safety. He also directed the films Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Hooper, among others. He’s written about his career in Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life. And Blaise Corrigan, a stuntman who has worked in New York for more than 20 years in such films as The Avengers, The Departed, The Bourne Legacy, and the television shows Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, and Law and Order.


Blaise Corrigan and Hal Needham

Comments [7]

Henry from Manhattan

Do the quest have any sort of physical fitness regime?

How important it is to keep in shape as a stunt-person?

Oct. 12 2012 01:55 PM
Christine from Westchester

These guys are fun and a nice change of topics from the political. Thanks for a refreshing break.

Oct. 12 2012 01:53 PM
Lawrence from Eastchester, NY

Norman Mailer: "Why are people stuntmen when the chances of getting seriously hurt are very large? It's because that's their cure." From "Stuntmensch," THE MAILER REVIEW, Vol. 6, October 2012.

Oct. 12 2012 01:53 PM
Larry in Nyack from Nyack

How do they do the stunt where there is an explosion in the background and the actor is "blown" forward flying towards the camera?

Oct. 12 2012 01:49 PM

Jackie Chan has broken every bone in his body.

Oct. 12 2012 01:46 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Ugh. Bone breaking. Teeth getting knocked out.

I guess a career in stunts is out of the question for me.

Oct. 12 2012 01:46 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Haven't read Mr. Needham's book, but Vic Armstrong's "The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman" is a terrific read.

Oct. 12 2012 01:28 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.