As we know already, Richard Hammond is a man who loves a challenge. In fact, he lives for it, as we all witnessed in the first season of “Richard Hammond’s Crash Course.” But in the all-new season premiere, it was all about falls, fights and fire for the Hamster, as he looked to master skills of a Hollywood stuntman.
Syncing up with stuntman legend Rick Avery at his training facility just outside of L.A., Richard was briefed on what it takes to “punch a guy’s lights out,” stuntman-style. Add in a couple of kicks and it was only a matter of minutes until Hamster was one-on-one with fellow stuntman Thom Williams, showing off his quick and simple fighting skills.
But the real task for this episode was for Richard to perfect his stuntman prowess so he could film an on-air promo for BBC America, which would appear at the end of the episode. In order to accomplish this, Richard met with stuntman Brett A. Jones, or as Richard calls him, a “real-life fall guy” to learn how to get the perfect fall… off a four-foot-high tower. The only thing is, Richard is afraid of heights.
Like a true champ, Richard stepped up to the challenge. But an even bigger feat was right around the corner: a 30-foot tower platform, which would see Richard plunging down onto what he described as “child’s bouncy house.” Hamster pushed on with supreme focus despite being totally terrified.
Next on Richard’s stuntman list was a fight! But this wasn’t any ordinary fight — Richard would be stealing Thom Williams’ sandwich. Just picture some dudes in an office, suited up ties, and Richard’s the annoying one who’s looking to swipe your lunch grub. Uh, that doesn’t sound pretty, right? Fight choreographer Dave Morizot, who’s coordinated more than 100 fights for film and TV, showed Richard some new fancy fight moves and then it was lights, camera, action! Fists were flying, elbows were in the air, chairs were spinning, and something ceramic was cracking! A very giddy Richard couldn’t have been more pleased, with his early jitters completely nowhere to be found. Now just imagine this happening a few more times, except with some extra desk props like pencils, a stapler and some candy added to the mix… and some very impressive kick moves from the Hamster. But biggest job of the day was yet to come — being thrown through a window! Candy glass, we should say, but still a BIG job for a newbie. Check out Richard’s remarks on the day’s work and more below:
Richard’s fear of heights is something that was tested not once, but a couple of times in this episode. When standing on the 6th Street bridge in downtown Los Angeles, Rick and his son, Mike, informed Richard that his next stuntman assignment would be to jump 30 feet below into a giant airbag. You can only imagine what was going through Richard’s mind at this very moment. Lucky for him, Brett was there to lend him some comforting words. And he was off! “HOLY CRAP – That was frightening,” he exclaimed when all was said and done.
“You’re only as good as your last stunt,” Rick Avery told Richard. Well, when it comes to fire, those words aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy. Now below the 6th Street bridge, which folks will recognize from 2012′s “The Dark Knight Rises,” a wide-eyed Richard found out that he’ll be decked in fire-resistant clothing and lathered up in fire gel, plus his neck, face and hair, Richard seemingly took it in just fine, but again, he was going to be set on FIRE! WOWSA!
Richard’s momentous ‘crash course’ as a Hollywood stuntman culminated with a car flip, like a real stuntman on a movie set. Yikes! Tom Harper, who’s been a stuntman for four decades, schooled him on safety measures and the inner workings of the stunt-mobile he’d be driving, a Crown Victoria. While this particular stunt saw Richard only going a max of 40mph, his mind briefly wandered to his 2006 accident, which almost killed him. Grasping the safety measures was no question for him. Also key: “precision,” “courage” and “accuracy.”
At last, here is the BBC America on-air promo in all it’s glory. What do you guys think? How do you think Richard did as a Hollywood stuntman?
For some extra fun, check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of Rick and Mike Avery talking a little bit about their background and more.