You may think that you do not know Vic Armstrong? Wrong! You’ve seen his work in countless films. He’s been stunt double for James Bond, Indiana Jones and Superman, and he’s directed action scenes for 3 Bond movies, Mission Impossible 3, I Am Legend and Thor, to name but a few.He’s got a lot of amazing stories to tell, and they’re all here in this acclaimed memoir, now updated to cover Vic’s work on The Amazing Spider-Man!
Vic and Harrison Ford or is it Harrison Ford and Vic ?
Peter Diamond ( a wonderful stunt actor and director whom I had the pleasure to know) directs a scene with Harrison Ford while Vic stands ready for the hard stuff.
This is Indiana Jones, we all know that, but is this Vic or Harrison ?
A quote from Vic. "My name was synonymous with Indiana Jones for a long time. Harrison was very gracious in his praise. He was one of the first actors to say, “I don’t do the stunts. Vic does the stunts.” But quite honestly, I always feel Harrison did as many of the stunts as i did – it was ‘teamwork’ all the way along."
One of the most remembered scenes from an Indiana Jones film is when Indy is chasing through a Moroccan street market and finds himself facing a huge thug wielding a whip. Indy just draws his gun and shoots the thug and continues on with the chase. Peter Diamond and the second unit had spent about 2 weeks readying the scene as a much longer street brawl only to discover that Steven Spielberg had a plane to catch the afternoon of the shoot. He wanted the scene cut short which left everyone scratching their heads until someone said "why don't you just shoot him". The director was just about to have a moan at the facetious remark when it struck him that it might be a good idea. the rest, as they say, is history. Vic's book is filled with anecdotes and stories, he name drops all over the place 9and why shouldn't he, the number of people he has filmed with).
Stunt work isn't all safe and sound despite the efforts they go to when setting up even the simplest of tricks. Stunt work and Special effects can be very dangerous. For example on the set of Expendables 2 one stuntman died and another was seriously injured when an explosion rocked a boat during the filming of a chase. and Daniel Radcliffe's double, David Holmes, was left paralysed when he fell stunting a flying scene.
He's been a stuntman and director for 30-40 years (or more) but he still puts his pants on over his tights.
Vic's wife, Wendy, his brother Andy and many of their familiy members have followed them into the movie business becoming directors and stunt people themselves. Below is Andy's son, James Armstrong in a stunt set up by "Uncle Vic" for the recent Green Hornet movie.
This is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will no doubt read it again in a year or so and not remember half of the movies or stories it relates to, it is that full.