Daniel Radcliffe has launched a new podcast series titled “Cunning Stunts” alongside his longtime “Harry Potter” stunt double David Holmes. The podcast finds the two former collaborators interviewing notable stunt performers to break down some of cinema’s best action scenes. Holmes served as Radcliffe’s stunt double on all eight “Harry Potter” films until he was critically injured during production on the final entry in the series. Holmes broke his neck performing a stunt and was paralyzed from the chest down.
The “Cunning Stunts” podcast launched with an episode featuring Derek Lea, a stunt performer whose credits include James Bond films, “Titanic,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and more. Additional episodes are set to feature Tina Maskell & David Forman, Paul Lowe, Jo McLaren, Rocky Taylor, and the late Brian ‘Sonny’ Nickels. Radcliffe said in an interview with Deadline that he wanted to be part of the podcast to bring greater awareness to stunt work, especially since it’s not always visible in visual-effects driven blockbusters.
“I think there’s a myth around stuntmen that they are just superhuman in some way,” Radcliffe said. “When the public see something really painful or horrible, they think it was a visual effect or that there’s some clever, safe way of doing it. Often that’s not the case. There’s no way of faking, for example, falling down stairs. When you get hit by a car, you’re still getting hit by a car, even if it’s going slower than it would. They find the safest way of doing it, but it can still hurt.”
Radcliffe also told Deadline he’s on the growing list of Hollywood talent who believe the Academy Awards should recognize stunt performers with their own category. The actor stressed that stunt performers are putting their lives on the line to create art and singled out Olivia Jackson, who lost an arm and paralyzed half her body during the making of “Resident Evil.”
“When you go through what happened with Dave or Olivia, or the many people we’ve talked to that have had severe things happen to them, you realize everyone has put their bodies on the line to make the things we love. It seems crazy not to acknowledge that,” Radcliffe said about the Oscars. “If you can’t see the art of a brilliant stunt scene, you’re just not looking hard enough. I do think there’s a snobbery, but stunt work is an art form, and to do it well and do it safely is really, really hard.”
Holmes joined Radcliffe in the interview and also rallied for a stunt Oscar, saying, “When you see something that’s put together well, the choreography is great, the individual stunt elements are also good, you know how much has gone into that. I watch films all the time. Not only because I love them, but because I live in a wheelchair now, I can lose myself in them. A great stunt sequence in a film—the way it flows is brilliant to me. And I can see both sides, as an audience member and as someone who has been a participant and done it.”
The “Cunning Stunts” podcast is now available on Spotify and iTunes.