Also, David Grant really appreciates giant animatronic dinosaurs.
On the occasion of the Jurassic World Dominion extended edition release, ComingSoon.net Senior Editor Tudor Leonte spoke with David Grant, a well-appreciated stuntman who worked in some of the most influential films in recent times, including Jurassic World Dominion and No Time to Die.
Tudor Leonte: You doubled for Scott Hayes and Sam Neill. In your opinion, how was the most difficult scene to double?
David Grant: I think the bit that came with the challenges was probably the fight in the Dino pit. There was a lot of choreography, but we had two great actors with Chris Pratt and Scott Hayes. We did a lot of rehearsals as well so that they were up to speed so that they can do it themselves, so we have the guys. The doubles did do a little, but the actors have done the majority of the work. The challenging part is that you had a little animatronic dinosaur, then you had a visual effects dinosaur that isn’t there, and then you are sort of working around markers where you can go and where you can’t go while you’re still doing a fight. It was interesting to do that fight in that way.
This movie has the peculiarity of having used a lot of animatronic dinosaurs. How was it for you to interact with some “real,” tangible dinosaurs?
Grant: As a performer, it’s incredible because they’re so real. Even if you are this close, they look really real. Then they sort of cover ’em with a sheen or a liquid so they look like they breathe. Like it’s really, really amazing. And, you know, I think like the Giganotosaurus at the end, it’s just… I’ve never seen anything like that in my career or working in film, an animatronic that is that big. It is incredible. I think everybody on that set was just in awe of it. You know you’re making a Jurassic World movie when you have a huge animatronic dinosaur, and is pretty incredible.
Unfortunately, part of the Jurassic World Dominion shooting was hindered by the COVID-19 outbreak. How was it for you to work with the new regulations, to stay safe and keep the others safe?
Grant: They’ve done a really good job. We were one of the first films back into production, so we were like a Guinea pig really to see how that was going to work in that environment. They did a great job. We did a lot of testing. I think at that point we were testing every single day. We had different zones, depending on where you were working and who you were working with. They put a lot of protocols in place, and it was challenging, but we got through it. There was a great crew. There was a great team on there. We got through it.
You also worked on the latest James Bond movie. What did you bring from that movie to Jurassic World Dominion?
Grant: A little bit of falling over [laughs]. Wherever I go, whatever film it’s a little bit of falling over. Or fighting, one of the two.