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Bourne Legacy Stunt Special

Bourne Legacy Motorbike Chase

The Bourne Legacy caught us all by surprise with its new hero Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) a.k.a. Number Five, a pill-popping super agent born out of, erm, the Bourne experiments by the USA’s Department of Defense.

By taking a combination of red and green pills from his scientist chum Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) he gets enhanced physical and psychological abilities. And by golly he’s going to need them, as the CIA have fixed on getting rid of any evidence of the experiment, including him.

As you can imagine, he gets himself in a few scrapes that require some incredible escapes (just check out the chase scene in the video above) so when we got the chance to speak to Dan Bradley, stunt coordinator on the film, we tightened up our seat belts and got ready for the ride.

Nuts: So, you’re given the job of coordinating stunts for the Bourne Legacy. Where do you start?

Dan Bradley: I’m a character-driven action guy. I try to understand both the script and the actor playing the role and embark on a real-world solution for the situations they are going to find themselves in.

For the motorbike scene (see video above) we rehearsed all the background drivers for days. Apart from a few special motorbikes all the vehicles in the scene were local, and they had varying degrees of dependability! We rehearsed the background drivers for days before shooting and the scene took 12 days to shoot in all.

N: Did the star of the film, Jeremy Renner, do many of the stunts?

DB: Jeremy is very experienced on a motorbike so did a great deal of riding, but only when the conditions were good. Sometimes the weather was so bad that walking between the trailers there was water up to our knees, which isn’t great when you’re shooting with two people on a bike.

I cringed when I first saw the script because the chase scene involved two people riding a bike without a helmet. I convinced the team that Bourne would at least have had the sense to give the lady he’s protecting a helmet! As someone who has driven a motorbike throughout his life, I couldn’t imagine riding a motorbike without a helmet.

N: So safety first then? You must have had some scrapes during your career as a stuntman?

DB: I once ended up in the burn ward for two weeks with third degree burns. I was driving a car that was meant to explode but the protection that was supposed to keep the fire away from me didn’t work. It was tough and I questioned whether I could go back to doing stunts, but the further in time you are from the event, the less painful it is.

Nuts: What are the best and worst films you’ve been involved in?

DB: My first job came about when I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I was at college and also working as a mechanic to pay the bills when I happened to meet a guy who was doing some stunt work. It was a typical 70s car chase movie, Joy Ride to Nowhere, and I just said ‘I’m a stuntman and film student,” even though I’d taken one film class and done a bit of mechanics. I knew when we were shooting it was not going to be a classic.

In all honesty, the Bourne films have been the best. I’ve had the freedom to execute action in ways that I’ve not been able to do before. When we started, I just spent a week driving around, looking for unique things in the local environment that I could turn into a stunt reality. They have been life-changing for me.

The Bourne Legacy DVDThe Bourne Legacy is out on Blu-ray™ with Ultraviolet, DVD and Digital Download on Monday 3rd December.