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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Shropshire stuntman lifts the lid on life in the movie business

Shropshire’s award-winning film and TV stunt coordinator and performer Justin Pearson is sharing his remarkable life story in a new autobiography, Rolling With The Punches.

Shropshire stuntman Justin Pearson
Shropshire stuntman Justin Pearson

From huge franchises such as Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, Fast & Furious and Pirates of the Caribbean to cult TV shows like Game of Thrones, his CV is a sparkling list of the world’s biggest productions.

From his early days as a prizewinning horseman, through globe-trotting exploits on the medieval jousting circuit, he reveals what it takes to ultimately make the transition into the world of TV and movies.

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From the Shropshire Hills, to the Hollywood Hills… this frank, amusing and revealing story is a rollercoaster ride with all the twists, turns and thrills you’d expect in a classic blockbuster.

It includes testimonials from many people Justin has worked with over the years, including producers, actors and the man they call ‘The Stig’ – driving legend Ben Collins.

“I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world with my work, experience many different cultures and meet some incredible people,” says Justin, who was raised in Church Stretton, schooled in Ludlow, was once based near Wem, and now lives in Shrewsbury.

“After 20-plus years in this wonderful and sometimes wacky business, it’s fair to say I’ve experienced my fair share of highs, lows, and unpredictable twists.”

In the book, he talks about the time that A-lister Tom Hardy left him bloodied and dazed by smashing him in the face with a knuckleduster, and the day a prop misbehaved during an action scene with X-Men star Michael Fassbender, with painful consequences.

He also reveals what it’s been like working with other movie legends including Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig, Natalie Portman – and some of his adventures in and around Shropshire.

Justin recalls some of his many brushes with danger, whether driving fast cars, freefalling off rooftops, or setting himself on fire.

He says: “When people ask me about my job, I often get asked ‘Isn’t it really dangerous? Don’t you get scared?’

“Of course there are risks, but you should never underestimate the degree of planning, and health and safety awareness, on set.

“I’d like to think that, through my story and my experience, I can now impart some of the knowledge I’ve gained in the stunt industry over the past two decades to the next generation.

“If they have half the fun and adventures that I’ve enjoyed over the past couple of decades, I can guarantee them that they’re in for a fantastic ride.”

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