Mass The Other "Indiana Jones" courtesy of CNN.com

Discussion in 'NorthEast Regional Discussion' started by sithkeith1701, Aug 22, 2008.

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  1. sithkeith1701 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2008
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    This article is very interesting from CNN today. Thought I would share.....

    The other Indiana Jones on pulling stunts for FordStory Highlights
    Vic Armstrong was Harrison Ford's stunt double in the Indiana Jones movies

    His physical similarity to Ford is at the root of his success as Indy's "fall guy"

    After 40 years in the business, Armstrong is the authority on death defying stunts

    Armstrong on Ford as a stuntman actor: "Harrison has to be the ultimate"

    Next Article in Entertainment »



    By CNN's Mairi Mackay

    LONDON, England (CNN) -- Think of a bullwhip and fedora and one man immediately springs to mind: Indiana Jones, the sardonic archeologist played by Harrison Ford in Stephen Spielberg's '80s trilogy which started with "Raiders of the Lost Ark."


    "If you learn how to act I'm in deep trouble," quips Harrison Ford (right) to Vic Armstrong (left) on this photo which shows how similar the pair look.

    But if you were to venture on set during the filming of "Raiders" hoping to catch a few moments with the star you might have had a surprise. The tall, rangy man in the dented hat signing autographs could just as easily have been Ford's stunt double, Vic Armstrong.

    Back then, in the right light Armstrong could easily be mistaken for Ford -- both of them over six feet tall and bronzed with crinkly eyes. And it's this that is at the root of his success as Indy's "fall guy."

    In fact, Ford is a talented stuntman in his own right and Armstrong says that his biggest headache on set was trying to stop Ford from getting involved in action that was too risky.

    "The biggest stunt I always say on the Indiana Jones films was stopping Harrison doing the stunts because I had to fight nearly every time to stop him," Armstrong chuckles.

    An accomplished horseman (his first career choice was steeplechase jockey), it's Armstrong's Indy you see galloping along in the stained khaki shirt and jumping from his horse onto a tank in "The Last Crusade."

    "Technically very difficult," Armstrong says, "I had to rely on a horse, and horses have a sense of survival and they don't actually do what you tell them to do as they haven't read the script." What do you think is the best stunt in the Indiana Jones movies?

    It may have been his close resemblance to Ford that clinched the "Raiders" job but the pair developed a rapport that led Armstrong to work on the other two installments of the trilogy, "Temple of Doom" and "The Last Crusade."

    "It always works better if you do have a relationship with [the actor]. You can mimic how they move, how they work when you coordinate fights for them like I did with Harrison," Armstrong tells CNN.

    Armstrong was just 16 years old when he started in the stunt industry in 1965. He utilised his horseriding skills to double as Gregory Peck in spy movie "Arabesque." He had to jump a huge moat and then fall off his mount but it was the simple lifestyle and travel that hooked young Armstrong -- "Forty dollars a day and all you can eat. Fantastic living."

    After over 40 years and countless movies, his filmography reads like a who's who of Hollywood: he has doubled for Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, John Voight and collaborated with directors like Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven, Michael Cimino and Sir Richard Attenborough.

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    His work for three decades on classic Bond films like "You Only Live Twice" and "Live and Let Die" cemented his reputation as a stuntman who could pull off complicated of stunts with precision.

    "The films I've done I've been very lucky to have been very prolific in an area and a time when iconic films were being made.

    "My first stunt on a Bond film was in 1966 in the winter of "You Only Live Twice". I was one of the ninjas coming down firing guns into the volcano, which for me was sensational."

    He doubled for Roger Moore in "Live and Let Die" for
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