In Tinseltown, there’s plenty of CGI and magic that goes in the movies to create some of the most thrilling and action-packed scenes in the world. The set can be just as dangerous as it looks in the film, making it crucial for stunt car drivers to be trained and have plenty of experience to prevent injury. For the celebrities who enjoy getting their hands dirty, they take on the stunts on top of the acting and enjoy the thrill that the driving indefinitely brings.
Known for his bad boy demeanor and working as the lead in some of Hollywood’s most popular blockbusters, Nicholas Cage did most of the driving in the hit move Gone in 60 Seconds, where he was trained in stunt driving. He attended several different schools to prepare for the film, including the Bondurant Driving School, Bobby Ore Stunt Driving School, and Willow Springs.
The actor is known for being an expert behind the wheel and not fearing fire, wanting to give the audience a realistic portrayal even in the action scenes to make for a better film. His work with stunt driving has even carried into his personal life, becoming a hobby and passion for the actor outside of the movies.
Gene Hackman appeared in The French Connection in 1971, doing most of the driving in the various shots on actual city streets, although the extremely dangerous scenes were left to Bill Hickman, a professional stunt driver.
McQueen was able to show off his professional driving skills in Bullit, LeMans, and The Getaway. Although he didn’t do the high-risk scenes that were some of the best shots in the film, he still gets a bit of credit for the action-packed chase scenes. He did all of the prep work on one of the mustangs used in Bullit. One of the cars used was damaged so severely that it was beyond repair; all other repairs were taken to locations similar to Phoenix Auto Body Repair.
McQueen collected classic motorcycles, with over 100 in his possession at the time of his death. He had a need for speed, competing in 1970 and considering going professional after winning several races.
Skipp Sudduth not only acted in Ronin, but also performed all of his own stunt driving while driving an S8, often exceeding 100 mph on a mountain road. The film was shot in France, making it easier for the actor to get away with more of the stunts with the country’s lenient film laws. For all of the other shots, the director used ex-French Formula One drivers.
Known as one of the most daring actors in Hollywood, Jackie Chan not only directs and acts, but also performs all of his own stunts and driving. His intense passion for cars has allowed him to take risks and make movie history. For some of the dangerous driving scenes in his films, the JC Stunt Team is often used for liability purposes.
This guest article has been written by Blogger Annabelle Smyth.