Thursday, 2 June 2011
To be fair to Armstrong, he probably is The World's Greatest Stuntman. Not only has he doubled as all the aforementioned legendary characters, but he also went on to become a stunt co-ordinator and 2nd Unit Director of some repute, almost single-handedly responsible for many of the greatest action sequences Hollywood has produced over the past thirty-odd years.
I've been familiar with his work since watching The Making Of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom on ITV when I was about eleven, and even at that tender age his role in creating the image of one of my biggest heroes was plain to see.
I was quite excited, then, to get hold of a copy of his book, written "with Robert Sellers". Sellers is a successful film journalist, and this feels a lot like a transcript of a series of interviews rather than something Armstrong sat down and banged out himself. It's not written flamboyantly or with wistful nostalgia, but instead reads like the anecdotes of a man who's done more or less everything except master the art of writing books. And why should he? He's Indiana Jones, James Bond and Superman for Christ's sake.
Some of his anecdotes are the stuff of men's changing room legend: a troubling amount of gory fatal and near-fatal accidents are recalled almost in the same breath as tales of Telly Savalas' cock and Oliver Reed's flaming blow jobs. All of a sudden the life of a stuntman doesn't seem that enviable after all.
So give it a whirl if you're an action flick geek like what I is; you might learn something. Least of all what it's like to come face to face with Little Kojak.
Labels: vic armstrong