In honor of
today yesterday’s DVD/Blu-Ray release of Jack Reacher (much better than most people gave it credit for, in my bro-pinion), the residing publicist reached out to see if I’d be interested in interviewing the stunt driver who worked with Tom Cruise on the movie, Joey Box. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. How could I pass up the opportunity to interview a guy who sounds like a Soprano’s character?
“It’s actually the name I was born with, but yeah, I get that a lot,” Joey Box told me, sounding like a guy who gets that a lot.
I reached Joey Box by phone a few days ago as he was in the middle of some paperwork.
VINCE: So how did you originally get into stunt driving?
BOX: I had been a stunt man in motion pictures for 25 years now, and doubled many actors over the years. And, you know… as a stunt man you start out mostly hitting the ground, doing stunt falls. Unless you’re a racecar driver and you start out that way. But for the most part, driving’s something that you evolve to.
I don’t know what Drive world I was envisioning where stunt drivers are plucked from the motorcycle spheres at the Schenectady County Fair, but I was hoping for a better story than “it’s something you evolve to,” no matter how true it might be. Here’s the thing about stuntmen, plus a broader generalization about people who do crazy shit for a living: to them, it’s not crazy shit. To them it’s a job, and for a lot of them, talking about it is about as fascinating and you or I talking about filling out TPS reports. You kind of have to take them outside themselves, because in their world crashing cars is pretty banal.