‘Bullet Train’: How Stunt Coordinator Taught Brad Pitt to Do His Stunts

Earlier than he was a director of spectacles like “Deadpool 2,” David Leitch did stunts for dozens of productions, usually doubling for Brad Pitt in movies together with “Troy,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Battle Membership.” Leitch places his stunt background to good use within the motion movie “Bullet Practice,” in cinemas now, by which he reteams with Pitt, this time as director.

Based mostly on a Japanese novel, the motion comedy revolves round 5 assassins from across the globe who discover themselves on a fast-moving practice. Pitt stars as Ladybug, alongside Sandra Bullock, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Dangerous Bunny. Leitch aimed to ship a character-driven story that captures the motion in digital camera moderately than counting on CGI and inexperienced display screen. It was as much as Greg Rementer, the movie’s second-unit director and stunt coordinator, to ship the helmer’s imaginative and prescient.

In designing a combating fashion tailor-made to Pitt’s character, Rementer labored intently with Leitch to grasp Ladybug’s backstory and motivation. The character regularly carries a briefcase, so Rementer had the combat choreography embody the prop. “He desires to keep away from combating in any respect prices,” Rementer explains. “He’s there to acquire his goal and escape unseen. There was a whole lot of defending, swift evading, shifting silently and tactically. We drew on inspiration from Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton in the best way that we wished Brad to do nearly all of his hand-to-hand choreography.”

Pitt was wanting to do his personal combat sequences, and Rementer had no objections: “He’s a pure athlete, and there was no motive why he couldn’t do his fights based mostly on his background.” Furthermore, Pitt’s choice match nicely with Rementer’s philosophy. “Each time I design motion, I all the time attempt to get the forged to carry out their combat scenes versus their stunts” and assist them to “safely push these boundaries,” he says, explaining that he’d moderately not see a star in scenes the place their character will get hit by a automobile or thrown out a window.

Rementer had greater than 16 weeks to prep. Whereas a number of scenes shot in Japan, a lot of the work got here collectively at Sony’s soundstages in Culver Metropolis. “We might carry within the stunt workforce, our wire workforce and digital camera workforce. We’d put up two-by-two containers in order that it was like practice seats and movie it,” Rementer explains. “It was so we may perceive the area.”

He labored with the entire forged, with every member studying their very own talent set. “We put the forged via combat boot camp,” Rementer says. He taught actors methods to throw punches and kicks from both facet to permit Leitch the liberty to maneuver set-pieces round. “If David desires to place a chair over there and a punch with the left hand can be higher, nicely, if we’ve solely taught them methods to punch with the suitable hand, then we’re in hassle.”

The weeks of prep included Rementer working with the movie’s manufacturing designer David Scheunemann and costume designer Sarah Evelyn Bram. “Sarah gave us extra stretch within the pants so we may put a wire harness in if we wanted to,” Rementer says.

As soon as on set, Rementer may push the boundaries on the strikes Pitt and the forged had realized. “We’d educate them to Brad, and he would work on them perhaps two strikes at a time. He may work on two or three beats or no matter was achievable.” The concept, he provides, was to let Pitt deal with appearing and never fear about punching. However Rementer notes that Pitt was capable of mix seven or eight strikes and praises the actor, who he says carried out at the very least 95% of the motion in his combat scenes. “Brad main pushed everybody to excel,” he says. “It was an excellent marriage of belief and security.”

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