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Interview:Mark Riccardi

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On the 2nd of October heroes wiki conduced a interview with Mark Riccardi, who is the stunt double for Greg Grunberg, who plays Matt Parkman. This interview was conducted by skywalkerrbf.

How did you get role on Heroes?
I actually worked on the pilot and Greg and I kinda hit it off we joked about (IF) the show turned out to be any good and it got picked up that he would like to have me double him! The Show turned out as we know to be a Hit and I got a great job doubling a fantastic guy!

Do you have any on-set stories?
One story that comes to mind is the Gag where Matt gets thrown out of plate glass window—now I've done plenty of crazy gags over the years... doubling John Travolta in the 90's had me working on some of John's best films, Face/Off and Broken Arrow—however this day we had to hit an air ram fly through a window and fall in a catch pit of 12 by 12. The stunt had a lot of variables, the main one being if I overshot the catch pit I would have landed 30 feet to the bottom down onto 5th Street in LA. As it turned out, it went off without a hitch, and at the end of the day Greg confirmed I was his man by saying even if he had to step off an apple box he would call me in!

What power you would like to have?
Hmmm any power? Maybe the power of knowing the lottery numbers or foresee the results of the horse races before they're posted!

Do you have a favorite Hero?
Easy one: Matt.

What was it like working with John Travolta?
I officially became JT's double on Get Shorty... After that, we had developed a great friendship and went on to work on 13 films in a 7-year span. The great thing with John was that it was a family or entourage of sorts that worked for him. We all traveled together, took vacations, smoked cigars, treated to all the posh restaurants, and were all part of something great at the time. Some of the best gags were done on Face/Off, Broken Arrow, and General's Daughter. That one was truly a one-in-a-million dream job!

What was your work on Star Trek like?
Stak Trek was also a great job, again doubling a fine actor, Jonathan Frakes... The beauty there was that he had a bad back so I was called in even for the smallest type gags (ship shake), also being best friends with the stunt coordinator Dennis Madalone helped a bit when it came time to be thrown into ND positions (aka playing stunt aliens), which usually meant 17-18 hours days with make-up and all. That gig also led to a lot of work on DS9, the spin-off.

How are things going on Heroes?
Yes, things are going well on Heroes; however, it would be great if Matt's character would flip a car or maybe do a fire burn more often. But you have to take the slow times with the good times. I also double Anthony Lapaglia on Without a Trace, so between the two I stay fairly busy.

How did you get into stunt work?
Well this could be a long story... however, I'll keep it short by saying my NFL career never transpired so looking for the next big adrenaline rush I decided to get into stunts. It really was planted in my head when I was much younger though, when watching the old James Cagney movie I always wanted to be the guys that Cagney would shoot, punch, or throw out of a window, so doing the big window gag for Greg kinda made it come full circle for me!!! It's been a heck of a ride; I can only hope my body can continue to take the beating!!!

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