Watch: Bullet Train director David Leitch reveals all about Brad Pitt's stunts
If anyone is well-versed on the art of stunt work, it’s Leitch. The director of John Wick and Deadpool 2 was a stuntman and co-ordinator for years before finding his seat behind the lens.
His latest, Bullet Train, requires a healthy amount of action and choreography from its leading stars, one of which is Pitt. In the Japan-set action film, set on one of the country's high speed trains, Pitt plays Ladybug a reluctant hitman who is called back into action to collect a briefcase on board.
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Leitch explained to Yahoo how they decipher which stunts are considered beyond an actor’s capabilities.
“You come into a project and it’s a collaboration, but there are protocols, health and safety is a big one, the stunt department and their knowledge of what is safe and what isn’t, then the actor's ability and appetite and aptitude,” he explained.
“As a stunt co-ordinator for years you never put an actor in a position where you don’t think they can succeed safely, you would never do that.”
Watch the trailer for Bullet Train
“Brad did do 99%of his stunts because of the way the action was choreographed and he has a high aptitude, so that was from my knowledge of how to make him shine in the action knowing him for so long, and I leaned into his strengths,” he said.
Pitt was not just a committed performer when it came to the action sequences. The film has a striking comedic edge, and he was required to provide the movie with a light touch too. Joey King told us about Pitt's infectious sense of humour, and how much fun they all had with the actor on set.
“He’s just the most normal, ridiculous, stupid, sweet person, we had so much fun together,” King said. “We all just became so close and were constantly tearing each other apart.”
“He likes a good, full-circle joke, so a joke that started like two years ago he just full-circled it yesterday with me,” King continued.
“He loves to be roasted, and to roast you back, he’s a team player. He’s really funny.”
Bullet Train arrives in UK cinemas on 3 August. Watch a clip below.