MI6 got together with the underwater stunt coordinator
of “Tomorrow Never Dies” Lee Sheward
earlier this week to talk more about the film and Michelle
Lee Sheward Interview - Part 2
14th October 2003
MI6 got together with the underwater stunt coordinator of “Tomorrow
Never Dies” Lee Sheward earlier this week for a chat. He
also performed as a stuntman in “The World Not Enough”.
In this four-part interview we chat about his work on “Tomorrow
Never Dies” and his experience as a stuntman and the future
of the industry.
Finding a Double
What were your responsibilities as the underwater stunt
coordinator on "Tomorrow Never Dies"?
As the stunt coordinator,
my overall responsibility is for the safety of the artist’s
cast and crew so majority of the underwater sequence in “Tomorrow
Never Dies” was
run with doubles. We had two Bond doubles and we had three Michelle
Yeoh doubles, then we went to two Michelle Yeoh doubles
in the last week simply because there wasn't enough work for
three. I used the other stuntmen Mark Southworth and Jamie Edgell
as the principle doubles for Bond, with stunt safety guys looking
The girls we used were actually models
we brought in as Michelle had such a distinctive shape
in a wetsuit it is hard enough on dry land to get a double
for her. With all respect it is more important for them
to look the part, so we used some models that I trained
in diving to make the whole sequence work.
How long did it take to train the models?
I went to a couple of agencies, we got about 16 girls in
and from those we culled out ones that didn’t make
the grade in size and shape. Some were a couple of inches
too tall or a couple of inches too short and some with
stature that didn’t match Michelle’s. We then cut them down to
four. They all had diving qualifications so they all knew how to scuba
dive already but we built them an underwater assault course
and had them swimming
through bubbles, swimming through tubes holding their breath and free swimming
as far as they could just so see who would get on with and interact with
the boys as well as they could.
It was a bit of a crash course, about two
days. But it was just to get a feeling of who could do what I was asking.
Diving’s one thing, but actually working in an underwater film
unit is something completely different.
Double vision - Despite having
stunt stand-ins, Michelle Yeoh still performed some
of her own underwater
"Tomorrow Never Dies"
What impression did you have of Michelle Yeoh?
In “Tomorrow Never Dies” in
the underwater unit you see a tiny little torpedo tube and Michelle
is swimming towards
camera - that was her! We angled the tube at thirty degrees
and she held her breath and swam through a 30ft plastic tube,
literally an inch clear on each shoulder. But with a mask
on, with respect it could have been the double because you would
never know, it was just bubbles and air coming up at you. She
did all that. She was more than game, a very capable lady.
Vic Armstrong is a legend in the stunt world and the Bond "family".
was it like working with him on the Bond projects?
Yes he is
a legend in the stunt industry and obviously the Broccoli family
absolutely loves him to bits and long let it carry on.
I’ve worked with him on a number of productions going back
to “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” and then
going through Bonds - how can you not learn from someone like
with his experience? This CV speaks for itself, anyone who has
that amount of work in the time he has done in his working career.
It's nice to sit back and look at how he works ,with my
own experience and own work, I can learn so much from him it
Keep an eye out for the next part of the interview where
we continue with the "The World is Not Enough" pre-credit
Many thanks to Lee Sheward.
Sheward Interview (1)
Sheward Interview (3)
Sheward Interview (4)
MI6 "Tomorrow Never
Dies " Coverage