Interview Post!

Unlike last year, I actually got an interview this time! As my eminent person is Jackie Chan, I decided to try and obtain an interview from someone familiar with the stunt industry. I started by googling stunt schools around Vancouver, hoping to find someone I could interview.  I eventually stumbled upon this website. I decided to email Peter Kent asking for an interview. He had the experience, as he was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal stunt double for over 14 years! He has appeared in : Terminator 1&2, Predator, and Total Recall, just to name a few. Quite the impressive resume. To my surprise, he responded within 30 minutes of me emailing him! The problem now was, I hadn’t come up with all my questions yet. So I had to send him my questions the next day. I was so anxious for his reply that I checked my email every couple of hours, and was ecstatic when he finally answered.

Here are the questions I asked and his answers:

1. How did you personally get into the stunt industry? What was your first job as a stuntman?

I went to Los Angeles from Vancouver in 1984 and by accident met James Cameron right and he was doing the movie Terminator. That was my very first film and it led to 14 more with Arnold 

2. What type of training did you have before you became a stuntman?

I was into track and field and running and some minor martial arts like judo  

3. What was your most dangerous stunt?

The freehand truck transfer at 60 miles an hour in Terminator two or the 20 story high fall on last action hero. 

4. Has Jackie Chan influenced you in any way? If so, how?

I would have to say just in the entertainment factor I know he does quite a few of his own stunts but he also has his own stunt professionals. 

5. As stated in your IMDb page, you have been in the stunt industry from 1984-present. Have things changed since then?

Yes 90% of the stunts these days are done in front of a Greenscreen and very little is done practically as we did in T2. 

Is it more difficult now?

In my estimation it’s about the same but the element of danger has been mitigated by a lot of green screen work and less practical big stunts due to cost. 

Was there a different way of getting in the industry?

I can’t speak for other people but for me no one will ever follow the path I’ve taken,  it was just being in the right place at the right time.

I am pretty happy with the amount of information I received. The answer to question 5 will be especially  helpful to me. Unfortunately Kent didn’t have much to say on Jackie Chan, but since the purpose of this interview was mainly to see how the stunt industry changed over all these years, this was an extremely successful interview. If I do this again, I would definitely have researched for more potential interviewees in case my first one failed. I was lucky this time as Peter Kent answered so quickly.

When I was doing my research, I didn’t really know the evolution of stunting. Now through the words of a stuntman who’s been in this line of work for 20 years,  I know how things work now. This also ties in with the fact that Jackie Chan doesn’t like the American movie industry because they are too restrictive of his stunts. Like Peter Kent says, a lot of the actual stunt-work is taken out of stunting.

Although the answers I got were quite short, I’m happy with them, as Kent is currently running a stunt school and probably doesn’t have too much extra time on his hands. The information I received will help me when I impersonate Jackie Chan on Night of the Notables, as  it further educates me about the stunt industry.

This is the full conversation I had with Peter Kent:

Dear Mr. Kent,

Thank you for taking the time to read my message. My name is Kevin Fang, I an currently a grade 10 student at Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam, BC. The reason I am reaching out to you today is because I am currently working on a research project around Jackie Chan and his career in stunting. After doing some research around stunting, I discovered yourwebsite. I know you have a lot of experience with the stunt industry, and I was wondering if you can answer a couple questions of mine about stunting. It would really help me out in my project.
Thank you very much for your time,
Kevin
Sure Kevin. What can I do for you?

Thank you for responding so quickly, I have a few questions about the stunt industry that I would like you to answer.

1. How did you personally get into the stunt industry? What was your first job as a stuntman?
2. What type of training did you have before you became a stuntman?
3. What was your most dangerous stunt?
4. Has Jackie Chan influenced you in any way? If so, how?
5. As stated in your IMDb page, you have been in the stunt industry from 1984-present. Have things changed since then? Is it more difficult now? Was there a different way of getting in the industry?
Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate everything and this has helped my project out a lot.
Peter Kent’s answers to my questions are posted above.

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