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...
Steve Truglia Interview (1)
4th 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...
Above: Steve preparing to sky dive.
What was your first film to perform as a stuntman?
film was "Tomorrow
Never Dies", and I started in the stunt business in
What was your first film to perform as a stunt stuntman
I think it was something like "Cold Feet" or "Coronation
Street" English soap operas. 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 starts as basic as that.
Tomorrow Never Dies
At what stage did you come onboard the project?
I came on board the project around about July.
Where there any heart stopping moments during this Bond film?
There was a scene in the final sequence where Bond pushes the
detonator on his watch and it explodes the glass jar. With the
huge explosion there were three of us near to that action. One
guy who had previously been "shot" from down below up
on the gantry and myself and another stunt performer were to be
blown to the ground by that explosion. The whole thing was designed
so that there would be a fireball which would raise above us and
along the ceiling, so that was a big moment and everyone was their
form producer downwards to watch this big fireball stunt. So it
was a pretty tense time.
Chasing Bond in Range Rovers
Which of the Range Rovers did you drive?
The front one of the group.
Where was this sequence filmed?
The sequence was filmed in the several places, some of
it was actually filmed In Bangkok and the one I did was
in the studios up in Frogmore, near St Albans. Which was
a reconstruction of the Bangkok street, they didn't get
everything finished out there because the weather changed
and it was something to do with the lighting and the
I think the rains came in or something and they couldn't
keep shooting for continuity. So we built the set here
the UK. We had hundreds of Chinese extras from China town.
There were a couple of scenes in particular where we had
to come around a corner very fast practically flat out
and there were Chinese extras absolutely everywhere darting
around in front of the vehicle in a panic scurrying
around, so it was kind of a tricky job not to run these
over and then we had the crash the vehicles into a load
"Tomorrow Never Dies"
Above: Range Rover
Bond in the meantime is escaping with the girl across the balcony
tops and we were frustrated after crashing these cars, so we'd
get out and shoot after him. The other scene was where the door
was ripped off the car. Somebody opens the car door in the Range
Rover, the first one stops, the second one hits it in the back.
I was driving the front one in that sequence where the crash
That's a very very tight shot. It was a one shot deal, they didn't
have the time to fix the vehicles after they had the shunt and
Vic Armstrong asked me to do that from the start absolutely inch
perfect and it had a very tight camera shot on
it and they wanted it in the central frame so it was critical
that I stopped the vehicle exactly on the stop. So what may not
sound like a big stunt, a little shunt, one vehicle shunting
there was a massive amount of pressure because we were going
to cave in the vehicles a little bit so we couldn't do it a second
time and we got there in one take. There was quite a bit of pressure
coming in a 20 miles an hour and stopping exactly each person
on the mark. When you have Vic Armstrong there and the producer
watching it makes your palms sweat a little bit.
How many days was there to prep?
A good couple of weeks really, on and off with the Range Rovers.
Where either of the Range Rovers retrofitted for that scene?
No not to the best of my knowledge - they were box standard
and they felt box standard. What was really interesting, it happens
a lot with stunt drivers and a lot of people don't realize
it - when you're doing stunts you've got to get out of vehicles
in your hands and you don't always know where to put the weapons
and they're loaded weapons with the safety on, so although
loaded with live ammunition they are still dangerous. You can't
fire that at someone's face, you'd probably kill them or take
out. So you've got concern of the weapons where they're stowed
in the vehicles where they won't roll around on the floor and
get under your brake pedals. So you need them stowed either
your side or under your thigh, wherever.
Bear in mind that you need to retrieve them quickly. It's happened
a couple of times when people haven't disabled the autolocking
on the door, i.e. "me". I did it on about three separate
occasions. I managed inadvertently to push the lock button down
on the car
driver door. You skid around the corner you do all the action
and no one can get out of the car. You're all trying to open
door, it's locked and by the time you've worked it out its too
late. So it's a cut and you've got to go again. But its quite
comical when you look back on it, all these bad guys come screaming
around the corner and they're all locked in their car like a
of "Keystone Cops" trying to get out. It's one of things
that happens a lot with stunt driving, you look out for buttons
on top of the door that you could push down with your elbow,
check that you haven't pushed it down by mistake, and if it's
locking no one else can get out.
Everything go to plan?
Everybody on that team is very very experienced. So what I call
the fudge factor is very low because everybody knows what
want and they've had a lot of time to prepare and plan. The more
experienced a stunt team is the better directing team is.
you're talking about someone like Vic Armstrong and his level
of experience and in that film, and Dickey Beer the Stunt
Combined the have 40, 50 maybe 60 years experience and on
some of the best, biggest movies out there. They managed to
planned in the first place because they know what's going to
work they know what's going to look good. It's not the same
films but it certainly is with the Bonds.
Above: Sean Connery and Catharine Zeta-Jones
Was there any portion of the chase missing from the
There were lots of bits and pieces actually we did a heck
of a lot and the way it was edited not everything we did
ended up on screen. But that's always the case, things
are done for editing. I did a driving job for Vic on a
film called "Entrapment" and it was over a several
weekends and 40 stunt drivers, it was a huge car chase
and they cut the whole lot. We watched the film in eager
anticipation to watch this wonderful stunt sequence that
we'd all worked
so hard for, for 8 solid days. Really long days as well
4 long weekends, nothing 'not a sausage!' Its not depressing,
its slightly disappointing, you'd like to see it in the
films. As a creator, I can't speak for other people, I
some people turn up and do there job, because it's a job.
But I've got to create because I like creating. I've got
mind and I love to see my work at the cinema afterwards.
I love being at a theatre when something happens and
go "that was good!", you know. I feel great, wow, I was
apart of that action that was me over there. You know?
really nice there satisfied with the finished product,
and you see it on film and you think that looks good.
In fact I was watching TV, I did a thing for the Johnny Vaughn
show - it was a simulated car knockdown. I get nearly knocked
but not quite ran over. And we filmed it and looked at the playbacks
at the time and I was moderately happy but I thought that they
could have been done better. But you can do a heck of a lot in
editing and the editor was obviously great. He was fantastic,
I thought I'd missed the show and I started watching the Johnny
Vaughn show and thought, ahh this is my thing. I watched it
it made me flinch, it was like crikey it looked like I nearly
got ran over. It was so good that it made me flinch and I did
it. So that's what I think is a good stunt, I mean it's that convincing.
Keep an eye out for the second part of the interview where we
chat about the helicopter stunts in "Tomorrow Never Dies" and
full body burns...
Many thanks to Steve Truglia
Steve Truglia (Part 2)
Steve Truglia (Part 3)
Steve Truglia (Part 4)
Tomorrow Never Dies MI6
The World Is Not Enough
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T's Official Website