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Exclusive: DANGERMAN: THE INCREDIBLE MR. GOODWIN Jonathan Goodwin Interview

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timthumbJonathan Goodwin was kind enough to discuss his new show with me, Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin, which airs Monday nights on BBC America. This Monday night, August 5 at 10/9c, is the season finale of this amazing show.  If you haven’t been watching it then shame on you, but you can redeem yourself by watching the season finale.  This show is unlike anything else on television right now.  It’s intense, to say the very least, as Jonathan puts himself and his guest, in hairy situations.  His death-defying feats will take your breath away.  I can’t say enough good things about his show.  Jonathan is brilliant and a little bit mad, which makes for the most exciting series in television history.  Don’t miss the season finale of Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin Monday night on BBC America.

Lena:  I like that you chose to air the water escape that didn’t go as planned.  It helped to prove that you are, in fact, human (yes, of course people are questioning that) and that regardless of the amount of time that you put in, there still may be variables beyond your control.  When BBC America talks about your show as every episode may be the series finale, they are not kidding.  Can you talk about the element of danger in what you do, and how you prepare for those “what if” moments?  Your insurance premiums must be as high as your pain tolerance.

Jonathan Goodwin: Obviously what I do is dangerous, but for me it’s all about control. The more I prepare and train, the less scary and daunting the stunt becomes. I equate it to walking down the street. When you walk along a busy road, you are within feet of death at any moment, (you could step in front of a car and be hit) but you are aware of all of the risks and trust in your ability to stay on the sidewalk. My job is to get my comfort level with any of the stunts, as close to “walking down the street” as I can.

timthumb-1Lena:  Just by watching the show, I can tell that you are one of those rare people that everyone instantly trusts and feels comfortable around.  Most of the time, people don’t even question what they will be assisting you with.  They willing walk right into the danger alongside you.  I’m sure there is a screening process to get on the show, but your confidence sells everyone. Has there ever been anyone that you haven’t been able to charm?

Jonathan Goodwin: To me, it’s the most incredible thing about the series. We put someone in serious danger of injury, or even death, on numerous occasions in “Dangerman” and we never once had someone say, “Actually, I don’t want to.” They were all very much up for it. In the season finale, I attempt to recreate the William Tell apple stunt and shoot an apple off the head of a volunteer from a distance of 120ft. The girl who volunteered actually said, “I hope he makes it, but if he doesn’t, I won’t know about it”… she wasn’t joking. The level of trust that people put in me is actually amazing and it makes me work so much harder to ensure that I achieve my goals. It’s one thing to risk your own life, but to risk someone else’s takes a different level of training.

Lena:  Every single time I see you do something, I’m always thinking about how you are going to top that.  You are a force and continue to do things like no one else in the world.  It seems like when you put your mind to it, you can do anything.  You have a copious amount of knowledge of your craft.  You try to improve things, and up the ante on things that have been done in the past.  You’ve flipped a car over, been buried alive – after receiving an unpleasant gift from a resident in a mystery box, and channeled the spirit of Oofty Goofty to show that the size of a man is inconsequential if the proper force and mindset is reached.  One of your fans wanted to know how many hours a week you physically and mentally train?

Jonathan Goodwin:  My training schedule varies depending upon what I am trying to achieve. I treat what I do like a job, so I am basically at work and training from 9am-5pm. Within that I could be working out something new, practicing something old, or physical training. I run or cycle for an hour a day, and then spend a further hour at the gym. Maintaining a base level of strength and fitness is essential and then I will focus on individual things like grip strength or core strength depending on what I am about to try and do.

Lena:  Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin is the most intense series on television right now.  I have a hard time watching it before bed because it takes me a long time to wind down from the phenomenal events that I just witnessed. You film the show in the U.K. and the U.S., so do you notice a difference between the two countries?  Is it easier to film in one over the other?

Jonathan Goodwin:  It’s actually much easier to do this stuff in the U.S. than it is in the U.K. The U.K. has an authority called the Health and Safety Executive, which oversees people’s welfare at work. There is so much paperwork and red tape to cut through before you are allowed to do something dangerous there. The U.S. is a little more lenient and I have some great stunt coordinator buddies here who are always fun to work with. The 360degree car climb that we shot in Los Angeles, which was in last weeks episode, was just a joy to attempt because of how much the stunt coordinators trusted my ability to get it done.

timthumb-2Lena:  What can you say about the season finale of Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin? Congratulations for making it, by the way.  I’m glad that it isn’t a series finale, and I do hope that we will get a second season in the U.S.

Jonathan Goodwin:  The season finale of “Dangerman” is possibly the thing I am most proud of. I did my version of the straitjacket escape hanging 150ft up in the air from the London Eye. The rope was on fire and I had to escape from the jacket and clip into a safety line before the rope burnt through. It didn’t go entirely according to plan, as some of the fuel from the rope dripped onto my jacket and I caught fire.

Lena:  Forget about the new Superman vs. Batman film that was discussed at Comic-Con; give me Goodwin vs. Batman.  Now that would be film! You do things that go beyond the realm of possibility, and I want to thank you for that.  You are brilliant.

Jonathan Goodwin:  Thanks Lena, so nice when people really appreciate what you do. Promise to work hard for season two, and maybe you can come along and be a witness! 🙂

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