'Bullet Train': Brad Pitt did '99 per cent' of his own stunts

Bard Pitt, 58, is said to have completed '99%' of his own stunts during this movie, and director David Leitch explained to Yahoo how they decipher which are considered beyond an actor’s capabilities.

Bullet Train is in cinemas nationwide from 3 August.

Video transcript

STEFAN PAPE: I read that sort of Brad Pitt did, like, 95% of his own stunts. I was just wondering of your kind of background in that area. Is-- how do you decide which or not a beyond an actor-- is it something the actor decides, or is it a health and safety thing? How do you decide what are the 5%?

DAVID LEITCH: It's all of it. You know, I think, you know, you come into a project-- again, it's a collaboration, but there are protocols in place. Health and safety is a big one. The stunt department and their knowledge of, like, what is safe and what isn't. And then the actor's ability, and bandwidth, and appetite, and aptitude.

Appetite and aptitude because you, as a stunt coordinator, for years, you never put an actor in a position where you don't think they can succeed safely. You would never do that. So it is instinctually, for me, either to design the action around it or shoot it in a way where you can use the stunt performer.

On this in particular, Brad did do 90 probably 9% of his stunts because of the way the action was choreographed, and he has a high aptitude. So that was from my knowledge I think of, like, how to make him shine in the action knowing him for so long. You know, I really leaned into his strengths.

STEFAN PAPE: You're a very established performer now. There's some great credits and wonderful collaborations to your name. But when you walk on set and you see Brad Pitt, is there still something inside you that just goes, that's Brad Pitt.

JOEY KING: You've-- you hit the nail on the head there. It is crazy. It's like-- it's so wild meeting someone that you admire so much and who's just, like, a larger than life kind of, like, name, really. And he's just the most, like, normal, ridiculous, stupid, like, sweet person. We had so much fun together.

I'm able to call him stupid because, like, me, him, Aaron, Brad, Andrew, Brian-- Aaron, Brian, Andrew, like, everyone, we all just became so close and we were just constantly tearing each other apart. And it was just so fun.

STEFAN PAPE: Yeah, I can't get-- I can't call Brad stupid.

JOEY KING: I mean, you could.

STEFAN PAPE: I'd have to get to know him first.

JOEY KING: I just don't know what would happen.

STEFAN PAPE: But, I mean, because everyone keeps saying he's really, like, funny and a bit of a joke. I mean, how funny are we talking? Is he-- is he a bit-- does he sort of pull pranks on anyone?

JOEY KING: I mean, it's less, like, pranks, but he's-- he likes a good full-circle joke. So a joke that started, like, two years ago, he'd just full circle that yesterday with me. And I was like, whoa, what the hell? How'd you do that?

He loves a good joke. He loves-- he loves to be roasted and to roast you back. You know, he's a really good-- he's a team player. He's just-- he is really funny.

STEFAN PAPE: What would you say is the most-- I mean, not on this one, but the most starstruck you've ever been. And it doesn't have to be on set. Could be in real life. Has there ever been a moment you've walked past someone, or you've through your work been able to meet someone and just gone, oh, my god.

JOEY KING: You know, honestly, on this movie, when I met-- when Michael Shannon came to work with us. That was such a moment for me. I adore Michael Shannon. He's, like, one of my favorite actors of all time. He's such a hero to me.

And so working with him was amazing. But, also, when I got the opportunity to not just work with, but share an entire series that was super emotional and hard to make with Patricia Arquette. That was also one of those moments where I'm like, damn, this is cool.

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