MI6 caught up with UK Freediving Champion, Steve
Truglia. In this in depth four part interview we look
at his experience on the "Tomorrow Never Dies"
and "The World Is Not Enough" sets, his
Guinness World record attempts, and much more...
Interview - Steve Truglia (3)
21st April 2005
That Sinking Feeling
During the underwater shoot at Pinewood you were one of
the sailors who is killed, why did they used stuntmen for
this simple scene?
It was my first ever day, and my first film day was
a night shoot in a tank at Pinewood where the bottom of
the stealth ship was over the tank. We played British sailors
floating in the water being shot by Stamper. The scene was
we're being rescued so we were all happy - but then Stamper
shoots us with a machine gun with Chinese ammunition.
But in reality he was using a blank firing weapon - but
they are dangerous because even though they are blank firing,
as you can see by the flames there loaded with quite strong
charges. If you freeze framed the action to the point where
you can see the size of the flash, you'd never get a flash
that big from a real weapon. That's what the special effects
guys use for stunts because they look absolutely fantastic.
So that's why they used stunt people for that scene. It
may seem like a relatively simple scene, but it is quite
dangerous to do that kind of thing. You can blind people
if you were that close to them and you could almost kill
them with a blank round if you put it right up against their
face. on top of all that, there were air jets in the water
to show the ricocheting rounds.
Above: Otto Gotz
But again, as with a lot of the Bond things they go quite easy.
I thought that was more of a gruesome scene in it's first cut,
but what was finally cut for the cinema looked a bit tamer. It
was a bit more dramatic but I think that there's a lot of censorship
because the movies are rated "12" and that's probably
why a lot of the more gruesome scenes they don't do the blood
Above: British Navel Frigate.
Was there any portions of your shoot missing from the
final print you remember film?
There were air jets in the water all of the place and people
doing the big dying scene and they cut that you - don't
really see it. It is implied it but you don't see it. It
was the coldest night work I've ever done. First night on
a James Bond film, nervous as hell, just really starting
in the business and absolutely freezing. We had a huge tent
with hot air bellowed into it and we had wetsuits on underneath
our costumes, but they were short wetsuits and you just
loose so much heat. We were there all night till about four
in the morning and it was a long night shoot.
We were so cold that they gave us what in stunts you call
"stunt adjustment" - an adjustment to your day
pay. You get a day rate and then you get an adjustment which
is usually takes into account objective danger, if you do
a high fall or set yourself on fire there are set rates,
sometimes they negotiable but there are guideline rates
for how much extra you get. We got an adjustment for that
because it was so physically uncomfortable, the objective
danger wasn't high in the stunt but it was so physically
unpleasant for hours and hours on end.
The special effects people had oil drums to make the waves.
Imagine an oil drum, and they make it look like a wheel barrow
with two sticks attached to it. You've got two sticks with a top
across the front so its like a u-shaped handle. You strap that
on to the oil drums and you get 6 or 7 guys stood around the tank
pushing them in and out of the water. It's great it looks exactly
like waves. It really does work, very very realistic and you feel
like you're in waves as the water reflects and bounces off the
Stealth Ship Battle
You also had a stunt role on the Stealth Ship, in the
final battle. Can you talk us through this?
There were loads and loads of scenes wrapped into that sequence
and the main one was the final sequence when we were blown to
the ground. As you're looking at the scene from the camera I'm
on the left hand side being blown down face first by that explosion.
I even at one stage grab a fire extinguisher and in the main control
room, I'm firing the fire extinguisher onto some of the panels
that are burning. Everyone was just mucking in and doing everything
Another stunt I performed was when I run
along one side of the gantry on one side of the stealth
ship, and as Bond is firing return fire to me, I'm dodging
all the bits and pieces - so it's almost like hurdling.
In another scene I'm up on the gantry and two goons are
having a shooting match with Bond, and Bond fires back and
one guy falls off, head first over the barrier as he gets
shot - and then aims the missile launcher and we dive off
the collapsing gantry as it hits the ground explosions go
You are currently official UK Free Diving Champion tell
us a little about this feat and what is involved?
Free diving is breath hold diving without any oxygen. You
hold your breath and go as deep as you can. There are a
variety of disciplines in free diving. There are disciplines
where you swim down and swim back up and there are disciplines
where you go hand over hand pulling yourself down a rope
and back up. The the most extreme discipline and the deepest
is called "no limits". This is explained beautifully
in the the film "The Big Blue"
Left: Steve Truglia performing a
freedive (image courtesy Deeper
"No limits" is where you go down with a weighted
sled, which is basically just a huge weight attached to
a rope, and you come back with a balloon full of air (a
lift bag ) still holding your breath the whole way. You
go down very deep very quickly and you go back to the surface
very quickly. It means you go deeper quicker and get yourself
into dangerous waters quicker. It's called "no limits
" because in terms of the sport there are no limits
on how much weight you can use to get yourself down and
no limits on how you get yourself back to the surface. So
you go down however you like and get back however you like
and get as deep as you can. So it's the real sharp end of
free diving. I got the established UK record officially
in May 2002 in Loch Linnha Fort William in Scotland with
the help of the Fort William underwater centre, which is
a diving organization for safety divers, and I got to 76m.
When I work that out in feet it's almost 240. I really
am not a daredevil in any way shape or form though. I'm
a fully thoughtful calculating professional - that's why
I've survived 600 parachute jumps, I've survived over 200
military parachute jumps in all continents of the world
with day, sea, night, land and from helicopters... aircraft,
balloons everything. Even into the Arctic! You name it I've
done it, but I'm still here. I've been climbing and mountaineering
at a really high level all my life - and I've not broken
a bone doing any of it.
Above: Steve on a freedive (image
courtesy of Deeper
Keep an eye out for the final part of the interview where we
chat about the "The World is Not Enough" and CGI...
Many thanks to Steve Truglia
Steve Truglia (Part 1)
Steve Truglia (Part 2)
Steve Truglia (Part 4)
Tomorrow Never Dies MI6
The World Is Not Enough
MI6 Movie Coverage
T's Official Website