Press > Exclusive Interviews > Dick Warlock (Stunt Coordinator/Stunts/Stunt Double: Kurt Russell: Escape From New York)

  



How did you end up being a stunt man, a stunt coordinator and Kurt Russell's stunt double for many, many years?

Go to www.dickwarlock.com/bio, all of the answers to this one are there. Back in 1965 his dad suggested that he put me in his contract so that when they called him they would have to call me to double him. He didn't know how to do that at 18 so Bing his dad did it for him. It was a pretty good marriage for 25 years.

How did you and Kurt prepare for this movie and how did you work together?

We never discussed this film regarding what, when, where or how except for the battle with Ox Baker (Slag). He did one hundred percent of that fight routine. He did tell Ox after Ox started playing it like he would have in the ring with another pro wrestler that he would bury the bat in his balls if he even came close to hurting him during the routine. There was not one stunt that I ever did for him that he couldn't have done better than me. Kurt is one heck of an athlete but the insurance companies wouldn't let him do something that would jeopardize the movie or the company. So, he would ask me if he should do it or have me do it.

Which were the most challenging, hardest or funniest stunts to do in the movie?

The crash of the baddie car into the parked car during the chase. The crash car was to hit the catch car at such an angle that it would cause the inertia to carry the rear of the crash car around the catch car causing the crash car to roll. Hopefully several times. To this day I have no idea what happened. Did I lift too soon, drive into the catch car too deep or at slightly off angle? I wish I knew.

How was the station wagon going through the pile of cars scene done?

I just out there with a crane drive and had him stack the cars in a particular order much like dominos. When I ran the car through the hole the remaining cars filled the gap. 

Is it true that Ox Baker gave you a lump on the head and another guy a broken nose while coordinating the gladiator ring fight?

That is absolutely BOGUS. No lump and no broken nose. Ox was an easy going guy and wouldn't want to hurt anyone intentionally. He was used to wrestling with professionals and Kurt was no match for him besides being the star of the film. Ox got a little anxious a time or two and that is when Kurt laid down the law.

I heard or read an anecdote from you somewhere about you learning Adrienne Barbeau (Maggie) about her gun. Can you elaborate a little about this? 

John came to me and asked if I'd go to Adrienne's home and work with her regarding gun control. When I got there I suggested that we practice over something soft. She suggested her bed so if she dropped the weapon it wouldn't be damaged. I agreed and that is the end of the story. I met her again at a con a few years ago and reminded her of that but she couldn't remember that happening. Oh, well. I made one heck of an impression didn't I.

Were there any accidents during the making of the movie?

None that I know of.

What's your favorite memory or memories of working on the movie?

Just being a part of the film with such an outstanding cast and crew. It was pure cake and something I will always treasure in my memory box.

What do you think of the movie personally?

I like it very much and like I said, "A joy to work on and be a part of".

Do you have any favorite memory or memories of working with Kurt Russell during your years together?

Not really. He treated me very well during our tenure together. Since Tango & Cash I have not spoken to him.

Which stunts in your career are you the most proud of?

I'd have to say pretty much all of them. The little ones can be though too. No, they don't bring the applause that the biggies do but tough none the less. There is one that I like from Mean Season that took place on a draw bridge. A dive from one side to the other as it was opening. I thought that was cool. No biggie but fun. Fire burns like the ones in The Hindenburg, Firestarter and Halloween 2. At the time I heard that the one on Halloween was about the hottest because of being on the soundstage in an enclosed atmosphere. In other words, because there was a ceiling and a hallway where none of the heat could escape upward it was like walking in an boiling oven and we did it twice.

What are you currently doing and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Doing things with my life mainly. We enjoy traveling. We used to do more when we had the motorcycle but not so much in the Miata. We are together almost 24/7 without fussing and you can't say that about too many couples.


Thank you for your time, Dick.

More about Dick Warlock here: http://www.dickwarlock.com