MI6 caught up with 2003 Taurus World Stuntman Nominee and "Die Another Day" stuntman George Cottle...

Interview - George Cottle (Part 1)
10th November 2003

MI6 caught up with 2003 Taurus World Stuntman Nominee, George Cottle last month. In this in depth four part interview we look at his experience on the latest Bond film, driving a hovercraft through a minefield and chasing Bond across the ice in a Jaguar.

Starting Out...

How long have you been in the stunt business? How did you start out as a specialist driver?
I got involved in the stunt business in about 1996 so about 7 or 8 years ago. I officially got on the stunt register in '97. With regards to the specialist driver, it's really hard to get involved there are so many good drivers out there. I was very fortunate that I had gotten a lot of opportunities to prove myself earlier on and have had a fantastic opportunity to drive a car in a Bond film.


What was your first film to perform as a stunt stuntman?
My first film was “Plunkett & Macleane” in '99 with Robert Carlyle. They had a carriage, which were robbing. The carriage was being pulled away by a load of horses, and it was all-alight - we were jumping of the side of it to escape.

Left: The Jaguar XKR George drove in "Die Another Day".

What was your first film to perform as a stunt driver?
I think it was something like "Cold Feet" or "Coronation Street" English soap opera’s. It was one of my first jobs. It was literally driving around a corner and stopping on a mark as an old lady was crossing the road. It was arts as basic as that.


At what stage did you come onboard the “Die Another Day”?
We were involved quite early because Vic Armstrong gave us the opportunity for 6 weeks of rehearsal on the hovercrafts. So we were involved from around November time and principle photography started in January so we were involved for two months before the whole film kicked off. So it was quite nice to get to grips with the hovercraft. As much as it’s nice to have the prep time, it can sometimes be that you get none and you are thrown in at the deep end.

Vic Armstrong is a legend in the stunt world and the Bond "family". What was it like working with him on the Bond projects?
It is fantastic you’ve picked the fantastic word ‘legend’. I mean before I was even in the business you hear of ‘Vic Armstrong’ as an ore inspiring record breaking person.

He’s taken the whole stunt world and the stunt man to new heights. Anywhere you go in the world any film industry you talk about Vic Armstrong – he’s known. I mean to get that phone call from Vic, to say what you doing for the next 3 months do you want to work for me.

I don’t think there’s a stuntman on the planet that would say "NO".

Right: The crew prepare the XKR for the next stunt.


So it was a fantastic opportunity, you know to actual prove yourself and actually put yourself through the paces. I think the boys always have that much more respect for him because you know that has been there and done it and there’s probably nothing that he hasn’t done that he’s asking you to do. You know he’d never ask you to do something that he didn’t think he be incapable of doing it himself.

What has been you favourite film you have worked on, or your favourite stunt you have performed?
I'd have to say it’s "Die Another Day", because of the fact that I was so involved with it. Everyday we were working hard and it’s really nice to be involved in a project where your involvement goes form the very beginning right through to the very end - and you have such a fantastic end product. We are kind of behind the scenes because obviously ‘Pierce’ and ‘Rick’ are the front people and were behind them, but obviously nothing would be possible without the whole crew behind them - with regards to that the while Bond crew is second to none.


You are sometimes listed as ‘Pierce’s’ stunt double - what did this involve and which scenes did you perform in?
I doubled Pierce in the opening sequence, which was the hovercraft stuff, all the hovercraft chase was me doubling Pierce, so that was about it really because then Ray doubled him for the driving. Then Mark his principle double - did the rest.

Left: An shot of George Cottle doubling for Zao at Pinewood Studios.

Keep an eye out for the second part of the interview where we chat about "Aldershot and Hovercrafts"...

Many thanks to George Cottle.
Images © 2003 Ford Motor Company and Wieck Media Services, Inc

Related Articles:
Interview - George Cottle (Part 2)
Interview - George Cottle (Part 3)
Interview - George Cottle (Part 4)
MI6 "Die Another Day" Coverage