Jay Bell, a stunt performer who manages to blend graceful “fight choreography” with take-no-prisoners-combat-style technique recently took time out of his active schedule to chat with THE TV ADDICT.
Jay, whose work can be seen on television shows including ONCE UPON A TIME (seen above doubling OUAT’s “Captain Hook,” Colin O’Donoghue), ARROW, THE FLASH, SUPERNATURAL, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and FEAR THE WALKING DEAD and feature films such as STAR TREK BEYOND, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is a former active duty soldier, Afghanistan veteran, musician, composer and father who took time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer our burning questions.
THE TV ADDICT: Is there a gag that looked impossible on paper but happened with surprising ease?
JAY BELL: I honestly have yet to witness this moment of insane planning for something that huge. I think those moments are reserved for the likes of Tom Cruise hanging off the side of a flying cargo plane.
Honestly, I’d think a lot of those moments are more frequent when planning complex stunt driving sequences, explosions and those sorts. It would be pretty amazing to be a fly on the wall though during the inception.
TVA: A lot of stunt performers are good at math and geometry. When you were in high school did you concentrate on math to go into this line of work?
I was terrible at algebra, but I excelled in geometry and actually enjoyed it. In high school, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. When I landed in college, I figured I’d go with technology and take the computer science route. I pretty much settled for what I considered would be a “stable” career move and a bi-weekly paycheck.
After college I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in front of computer screen anymore. That’s when I joined the Army and did an 8-month tour in Afghanistan. I wanted to get my feet wet with some real life experience, and that’s exactly what I got.
After my tour ended, I had 2 months left on my contract, and that’s when I really got interested in film. I started training again, meeting local stunt performers and throwing my resume out there. When I got my first taste of being on set, I was all over it.
TVA: What are some upcoming features we might see you in?
During the TV hiatus this past summer, I had the opportunity to work on some pretty amazing features. I went to Montreal to work on Marvel’s X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, and I doubled Kevin Spacey in NINE LIVES.
I then came back to start work on STAR TREK: BEYOND, as well as doing Marvel’s DEADPOOL reshoots. It’s been a pretty amazing year, both in TV and feature films.
You can also see me do all the action/stunts for DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW series as Hawkman, which debuts on The CW and CTV on January 21.
The TV Addict thanks Jay for answering our burning questions. Here is more information about him…
He also has training and/or special skills in Taekwondo, is a Certified PADI Rescue Diver, trained in Muay Thai, PAL firearms License, Shotokan Karate, military weapons/tactics, Tactix film fighting, does both military offensive and defensive driving, free running/Parkour, and holds a Class 5,6 Drivers License.
He enjoys rock climbing, bouldering and free climbing, tumbling and trampoline, does aerial platform/zoom boom ticket, wire work, ratchets and water work and has a forklift certification class 1,4,5. He composes and plays music and has 11+ years experience in guitar/bass/percussion.
Jay is a 7-year active duty Army veteran who saw 8 months of combat duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He does Close Protection Operator/Security for LMS Security Solutions (South America, Caribbean, Middle East) and Close Protection for actors/set containment for LifeLine protection services (Vancouver).
He has doubled actors including Nestor Carbonell (above on BATES MOTEL), Milo Ventimiglia, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Benito Martinez, Paul McGillion, Sonke Mohring, Steve Baran, Ben Hollingsworth, Robbie Amell, Adrian McMorran, Colin O’Donoghue, Alex Carter, Kevin Spacey, Mark Consuelos, Falk Hentschel, Nick Zano and Primo Allon.
Want to see more of Jay Bell’s work?
You can see Jay in these feature films: GODZILLA (above), WAR: PLANET OF THE APES, DEADPOOL, STAR TREK BEYOND, NINE LIVES, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, VENDETTA, 50 SHADES OF GREY, TOMORROWLAND, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, MAN OF STEEL and THE A-TEAM.
Check out his stunt performing and acting on television in ARROW, THE 100, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, THE FLASH, ONCE UPON A TIME, IZOMBIE, MINORITY REPORT, THE X-FILES (2016), FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, JESSE STONE: LOST IN PARADISE, THE WHISPERS, MOTIVE, MAPLE BAY LODGE, OLYMPUS, THE TRANSPORTER, THE INTRUDERS, THE KILLING, CONTINUUM, ALMOST HUMAN, BATES MOTEL, THE WOUNDED, NIKITA, FRINGE, SUPERNATURAL, CITIZEN, CBC/FIFTH ESTATE, TO SAVE ONE’S SELF, ECHOES, SMALLVILLE, SARAH IN THE DARK, STARGATE ATLANTIS and ADICOLOR YELLOW.
For a great compilation of Jason “Jay” Bell’s stuntwork, watch this video.