Stunt driver Wade Eastwood discusses his work with the Bond production team on "Quantum of Solace"...

Wade Eastwood Interview (2)

8th February 2010

Continuing from Part One in which Wade discussed his first brush with James Bond on "The World Is Not Enough"...

Can you describe the atmosphere on a Bond set - is there anything unique in the way that they work?
Bond's are like no other film set anywhere. Barbara Broccoli is an amazing lady and producer who makes you all feel part of the journey and equally responsible for the film's success. It is very much like a family.

Above: Daniel Craig on the Siena cisterns set at Pinewood, shooting a scene between Bond and M.

How did it come about that you were asked back 9 years later for "Quantum of Solace"?
Daniel [Craig] and I became friends through doubling him on "Tomb Raider", so he asked me for "Casino Royale", but I was coordinating "X-Men 3" and it unfortunately overlapped. So when "Quantum" came up, Gary Powell - who was coordinating "Quantum" - called me up and asked if I was available. I left soon after for Panama.

Were there any noticeable differences between the production of "Quantum" and your debut Bond film and if so in what were they?
No. It's a total family and it works. It was great to see a lot of old faces and Barbara gave me a huge hug in the hotel lobby, welcoming me back. It was a fantastic experience all round.

Above: Craig gets involved in the boat-chase sequence.

On "Quantum" you were again involved in another boat chase, where was that sequence primarily shot?
Think I might be getting type cast? Yes, another jet boat except this one was bigger! It was all shot in Panama. A very cool location.

Did you work closely with Daniel Craig? He has become known for throwing himself into the stunt sequences - how much did he perform himself and how did you find filming with him?
Daniel could do it all. He is one hell of an actor and if he weren't, he would be a great stuntman. He is also one of the boys and is always laughing and joking with the crew or sharing a meal or drink with everyone; a very likeable guy on set and easy to work with. Obviously there are limits to what an actor can safely do as if he is hurt the film stops.

Above: Wade Eastwood pilots Bond's boat during this tricky on-water action sequence.

What was the most challenging element of your work on "Quantum of Solace"?
Making sure it looked good and was safe. I also had a passenger, stunt women, Nikki Berwick, so had to make sure that I didn't throw her out the boat, even though she took a good beating trying to hold on.

Do you plan or hope to be involved in Bond 23 when it shoots late next year?
Yes, I would love to be involved in any Bond.

In general, how much of your time does an average Hollywood film take to shoot? Are the Bond films stunt-work intensive in any sense?
Audiences today are so critical and action has to be reinvented constantly to compete. Any action film is hard work trying to keep up. Generally we shoot for around 5 months and will rehearse for around 3 months prior.

Above: Wade Eastwood takes a breather between shots on location in Panama.

What is your most memorable moment from your work on the two Bond films?
Being on the river Thames everyday in "The World Is Not Enough" and Daniel throwing me out of the boat rehearsing on "Quantum". A very embarrassing moment for me, but everyone else found it very funny - especially the man himself!

Have you had any formal training as a stunt performer? What have been some of the greatest lessons learned - either in training or practice?
Going back to athletics, I think the best training anyone can acquire is just having natural athletic ability. Sure, gymnastics, etc, will give you great movement and aerial awareness but sometimes those guys struggle with the basics of just being loose and not being so mechanically trained and thus wooden on set. Be able to throw yourself around without getting hurt, like an athletic clown! Obviously things like skydiving and scuba you need to be professionally trained in, but these are special skills. There is also nothing better than being around sets to learn the correct etiquette and watch the camera to understand why and how.

Do you specialise in any kind of stunt performing and where do you feel your greatest skills lie?
I love anything with a steering wheel, handlebar, cyclic, yoke and horsepower! I try not to specialise, as you are then not as employable. You have to be versatile! When I started in the B-Movie world, we didn't have the budget to bring the best bike guy or horse guy in on a job, so you better be able to do it all and teach yourself fast if you couldn't!

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