To start, I’d love to know about your family lineage in California. You’re fourth generation, right
Technically, yes. My great grandfather moved to California in the late 1800s.
Do you know what for?
The gold rush and all that. My grandfather was born right here in Encino, California. California has a very short history, but I’m proud that we have a pretty long lineage here.
And who was the first to get involved in stunts?
It was my grandfather. He was a pilot for United Airlines his whole life and did some flying for a few movies. My uncle and dad then later got involved. They grew up in the San Fernando Valley and all around this area. All of their friends’ dads were the original stuntmen: the guys that doubled John Wayne, and all the original movie stars. That’s who my dad grew up around. And then, almost as a natural progression, my dad and my uncle started doing stunts when they were in their late teens. They grew up racing motocross, cars and surfing. Stunts was just the way they made their living.
As a kid growing up, did you think this is something that you would do?
It’s like growing up in a family of musicians. You’re just always around it and it becomes normal. If your parents have a cool job, and it’s what you see on a daily basis, then, of course, you want to do that.
I think in some cases, but in others, you have kids that are like, “Oh, this is what my parents do this. This is not cool.”
Yeah, I think it depends on the career. Funnily enough, my brother also became a stuntman. He and I have both been doing stunts since we were seven years old.
What was your first job when you were seven?
It's funny, at the beginning of January I was coordinating some reshoots we were doing on a new Godzilla vs Kong movie that we shot last year. And I was working at Warner Brothers studios. I was there for two weeks every day. My career has always been travelling to other countries and other states to work. Very, very rarely am I working on a movie in LA on the sound stages anymore. So, I was there, coordinating it and I was walking around the lot with all the stages and I realized, “Wow, my first movie was here on Warner Brothers lot.” So, I call my dad and I'm like, “Hey, what stage was the movie Soldier with Kurt Russell.”
What was the stunt?
I did a stair fall.
[Laughs] Yeah, my dad's friend was carrying me. We were running up a set of stairs, get shot and then he falls with me in his arms. And that’s when I was seven years old. It’s weird to think, now I'm 30 years old and I’m standing at the stage where I first worked. I still have really vivid memories from that.