The Hitman’s Bodyguard Features Adam Bradshaw Who Became A Hollywood Stuntman After His Free Running Was Scouted

The life of a Hollywood stuntman might sound glamorous but Adam Bradshaw knows what it is to step up and take the hits for A-listers banned from doing the dangerous stuff…

RISING You worked with Ryan Reynolds on The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Ryan has had to do fewer stunts lately, which ones did he pass onto you as ‘too risky’? ADAM BRADSHAW, STUNTMAN ‘Yes I was fortunate to work with Ryan, and credit due he was capable of doing most of the fight scenes and performed really well. I stepped in when his character had to go through the kitchen window or get slammed into a table in the hardware store.’

RISING What’s the most extreme stunt you’ve ever performed? AB ‘I would say they have all been fairly extreme, whether that's jumping from building to building on Assassin’s Creed, or going through a window into a room with a eight-foot drop inside onto a table. They all have their extreme elements to them.’

It’s daily routines of weight training followed by martial arts, then free running

RISING You obviously need to be fit, agile and strong – do you train for this inside and outside the gym? AB ‘Yes totally! Training is a huge part of my life. My week has daily training routines, which consist of weight training of all kinds, followed by martial arts, then gymnastics or free running in the evenings. I take my training and diet pretty seriously. I'll always try to maintain and be ready for when the phone goes.’

RISING What kind of injuries have you picked up doing your job? AB ‘I have the usual bumps and bruises. I’ve twisted my ankles and cut my arms going through windows, but it’s all part of the job.’

RISING How did you become a stuntman in the first place? AB ‘I began copying Jackie Chan as kid, making fight scenes and jumping out of trees for fun. I started making little movies and as I got older I got into free running. We became one of the biggest teams in the UK and the world around 2005. In 2009 I received a call from someone who had a contact with the stunt people working on Harry Potter saying they needed free runners to chase after Harry Potter through the woods. I sent my stuff in and got the job. The rest is history. I’m super-grateful for the opportunity and because of that my career changed forever.’

RISING Are there any actors you’ve been surprised by in terms of their abilities or amount of fun they are to work with? AB ‘Yes I would say Ryan is a great performer and knows how to move, which made the fight scenes really good. It's great when an actor can deliver on screen. Charlie Hunnam was great too, I doubled him on Papillon, which is a remake of the original Steve McQueen film. Charlie really knows how to move and impressed me when we gave him some intricate choreography to perform.’

RISING What’s bee the most intense film to work on so far, in terms of volume and difficulty of stunts? AB ‘I would say Assassin’s Creed because we spent two months in Malta during peak summer. We had so many action scenes on the roof tops with hardly any places to run and hide in the shadows, so to say it was intense would be an understatement. Some people from costume department were fainting due to the heat. Luckily all the stunt guys survived, ha ha!’

Damien Walters performed a 120ft fall holding a crucifix shape all the way down onto an airbag

RISING You must have seen some impressive feats on set – what’s left the most lasting impression? AB ‘Yes I've been so fortunate to worked with such talented people. The most impressive feat I have seen was from a fellow stunt man Damien Walters. He performed a 120ft high fall holding a crucifix shape all the way down onto an airbag for Assassin’s Creed. That was truly amazing to witness and a real spectacle of what the human body is capable of.’

RISING There seems to be a move away from CGI in movies, back to doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way – how much have you seen the science and skill of setting up stunts develop? AB ‘It’s interesting because I think people like to see the real thing. The eye is so good at spotting CGI, and when you watch a real stunt, with a real human doing their thing it's exhilarating! I think stunts in general has really become a fine art. It's not just a matter of crashing a car or jumping through a window. It takes many days of rehearsals and tests to get it right, so on the day things run smoothly time and time again.’

RISING What’s the one stunt you’ve yet to do that you want to? AB ‘I would love to skydive for a film. Being a skydiver myself it's something I would love to perform on screen for a big Hollywood action movie.’

RISING How do you risk-assess in the planning stage and how important is this to success? AB ‘Risk assessments are crucial to the stunts performed on set. Before any stunt happens it has been pre-planned, broken down and analysed so that the risk assessment can be written out, and everyone knows what the risks are and what to expect.’

RISING Where does the world of stuntmen go from here? AB ‘I honestly don't think it'll ever change. It’s expensive to make CGI movies and even when CGI becomes unnoticed, people will still want to see the real deal. There’s nothing quite like seeing a real stunt performer on fire, going through a window and getting hit by a car!’

WHAT NEXT? Watch Bradshaw in action as Ryan Reynolds stunt double in The Hitman’s Bodyguard trailer.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is out now on blu-Ray and DVD

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