MI6 caught up last month 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 (2)
5th February 2004

MI6 caught up last month 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...

Tracking Bond

You were in several scenes in "Tomorrow Never Dies". One of the more notable was the helicopter chase, can you tell us how you were involved?
These were the cuts and fill-ins for the work already done in Bangkok. We had to made up a Bangkok street and we had a stunt helicopter pilot with a stunt guy sitting in the front passenger seat which if your inside it's the same as a car, a British car; driver on the right, passenger on the left. And two guys behind, I was the guy on the right hand side behind the pilot.

We were standing on the skid of the helicopter a buttock on the seat, harnessed in the helicopter otherwise we'd all be on the floor right now. And the helicopter was flying in and below the building line sometimes.

It was a hairy scene because sometimes it looked as if the blades were just yards from banners and bits of washing line and stuff that had been thrown up in this street, it was actually a really hairy scene. Flying along firing our machine guns leaning out firing our machine guns whilst flying.


Above: BMW R 1200

Advice For Left Handed Goons

A kind of an interesting fact is that because of the way that most sub machine guns fire - designed for right handed use - the guy on the left hand side had problems. Most fully automatic weapons like that are made for right handed use, so if you hold the weapon in your right hand and fire the weapon the ejected cartridges come out from the right hand side. They go left to right and bring the weapon to the right, but if you image if your leaning out the left of a helicopter and you're firing a weapon you get really hot empty cases coming in at a really rapid rate of maybe 600 to 800 rounds per minute coming into the aircraft hitting the pilot into the side of the face, and you can't do that because its not safe to do it. So I don't know if it shows it, but the guy on the left hand side had to hold his machine gun upside down so that the empty cartridges would go out the window. One of the weird little things that happen when you're doing stunts, that you have to think about that for a safety point of view.

Straight Shooting

So what we were basically doing was across the rooftops as Bond is escaping, we're swooping down in the helicopters and firing and the special effects team is synchronizing that. With pyro on the roof so it looks as if bullet shots are landing on the roof. In a couple of other scenes, you actually see how many different people are in the helicopter, two or three different people have sat in that seat at different times to get the shots they wanted. And you see Bond and the girl on the motorbike in a room I think it's before the jump and the helicopter comes down below the window line. If you look at that you see quite clearly that its not me in the helicopter coming down and it cuts to Bond and the girl inside and then it cuts to the helicopter going down below the window and you'll see that its me, a very short bit, about a quarter of a second. But I goes to show that if you look very closely that you'll see different people, different drivers in the Range Rovers as well. When you see a film you'd never in a million years notice that. What they actually had was me doubling a stunt man, normally you stunt double an actor, you have a part where you have a guy doing a scene down in Bangkok, a stuntman playing villains actually stunt doubling them, and trying to make it look reasonably similar. But only reasonably, but that's something in editing where if you're cutting things fast you don't know.

Where was your portion of the helicopter chase filmed?
Frogmore, several days again on and off. What tends to happen is they don't always do them back to back, you might do a couple of days and then do something else. Then you'll come back and do something else. Its not always the case that it's a continuous shoot, so you may do a couple of days in the Range Rover then a couple of days in the helicopters then back in the Range Rover's then backing the helicopters and then a week later doing a helicopter thing again. I think that's mainly because they get the rushes back and they say "hmm…. what we could actually do with this is…"

Full Body Fire Burn

You are preparing for the Guinness World Records Full Body Fire Burn, can you tell us more about this amazing feat?
At the moment I'm pending an agreement with Guinness World Records, it's the 50th Anniversary of Guinness World Records next year and I may incorporating my stunt into that. But pending negotiations with them at the moment on how were going to do it and how its going to be aired and all of this. I was going to do it next week but its on hold, I've given them a bit of time because there talking to Carlton Television about this show, I don't think it's a great secret that their making this show. It's a full body burn, which means your totally emerged in flame, the Guinness record is only open to stunt professionals in the business for very obvious reasons. I'm actually nervous about it even with that just because its so dangerous and its without use of oxygen, what they mean by that is breathing apparatus. On some fire burns you can use concealed breathing apparatus, so you have to hold your breath. It's two minutes and under extreme duress and under extreme temperature because quite apart from the fire on the outside the suite is designed to not let the heat transfer quickly but it doesn't let any heat out either so as soon as you put the suit on within 5 minutes your heart races up into the 150's 160's and you feel like you want to collapse because you want to sweat.


Above: Steve Truglia in a full body burn

That's the fire record, it will be done, it may be this year it may be next year. Probably next year and it will be quite well publicized. It will be dramatic because it is dramatic to see a man ablaze.

Keep an eye out for the third part of the interview where we chat about the Stealth Ship in "Tomorrow Never Dies "and Free Diving...

Many thanks to Steve Truglia.

Related Articles:
Interview Steve Truglia (Part 1)
Interview Steve Truglia (Part 3)
Interview Steve Truglia (Part 4)
Tomorrow Never Dies MI6 Movie Coverage
The World Is Not Enough MI6 Movie Coverage
Steve T's Official Website