Extraction, the new Netflix movie that became a sensation and the closest thing we have to a summer blockbuster, features a number of incredible stunts. Of course, that’s no surprise coming from first-time director Sam Hargrave, who was a stunt coordinator and second-unit director before making his first film.
Star Chris Hemsworth also knows a thing or two about performing stunts, considering he’s been a superhero for nearly a decade. But according to the actor himself, Extraction was the most difficult movie he’s ever made based on the elaborate action sequences, which include a 12-minute oner.
The Australian star doesn’t have the luxury of being Thor and hanging from wires in front of a green screen in this film, as he’s playing a human being who can bleed and break bones. And he does both of those things because the tone and visceral nature of the movie require it.
But how does he avoid real injury? Well, in an interview on Netflix’s YouTube channel, Hemsworth and Hargrave pulled the curtain back to reveal some details on what it takes to make a stunt look real and feel safe. Using one example, they talk about a scene where the actor falls down a flight of stairs, explaining how he did it by saying the following:
“There is a reason why stuntmen exist. There’s a hood on and you’re falling downstairs. You could possibly hurt yourself. The floor most of the time was padded. So instead of having to hide elbow pads, or you know, you don’t get to fall kind’ve protecting yourself, you can go all out and you don’t have to worry so much about it.”
They did the same thing in the bathroom fight scene in Mission: Impossible – Fallout as well, as that whole white room had pads. It’s really the way to go when actors want to perform dangerous stunts themselves. And people like Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves take pride in being able to do them if it means telling a better story and entertaining audiences.
Hemsworth has a long way to go to join that list, of course, but with Extraction, he’s certainly earning some respect. You also have to credit Hargrave for the realism and creative techniques used to sell the action. He was so into it, in fact, that Hemsworth feared for the director’s life at one point.
“I remember at one point thinking, when we are doing the chase sequence, and you’re talking about Sam strapped to the front of a car, and we had some pretty close calls – and one in particular – and I thought, that’s interesting. If a stunt guy gets hurt, we just, you know, [send him] off to the hospital and bring in the next one. But, you know, if Sam gets injured.”
He makes a great point. But then again, once a stuntman, always a stuntman, right?