When Anthony Molinari first arrived in Hollywood as an aspiring stuntman he believed that the best way to make a name for himself was by doing the “gnarliest gags” which include “car hits” and “stair falls”.
Now, a decade later, with credits in The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and the upcoming The Lone Ranger remake (to name a few), Anthony recognizes that some of the most challenging stunts are void of explosions, flames, and death-defying falls. He explains that “Being a successful stuntman requires you to have as much mental and emotional toughness as physical toughness.”
Anthony’s company All Action Stunts frequently gets calls from folks asking him to be on set the next day, with no details as to what kind of movie he’ll even be in or what kind of stunts he’ll have to perform. Ideally, the set would be near his home in Los Angeles. However, he is just as likely to be on a flight to Louisiana or Iceland. He explains, “I tell my wife and son that I am off. I throw together a bag with everything I might possibly need like my fire suit and crash gear and, unfortunately, I don’t always know when I’ll be back.”
Anthony’s wife is pregnant with their second child and they try to observe the “two week rule” meaning that they never go more than two weeks without seeing each other in person. In the meantime, he says “Skype really helps to bridge that time apart” and ensure “I never miss seeing my son grow.” As Anthony often works as a Stunt Coordinator, he also uses Skype’s Group Video Calls to do workshops with other stunt performers on set.
While Anthony has now done his fair share of car hits and stair falls, he says one of his most challenging stunts was for 2009’s Star Trek. He had to hang upside down for three full workdays in a skin-tight vinyl suit with oxygen pumped in through a small hole in the back of the helmet. All in all, he spent some two months on set performing stunts for that film.
“There’s a lot of patience and mental fortitude involved,” he argues. “As a little kid, I idolized Lee Majors in The Fall Guy on TV. So, I’m living my dream, but nobody becomes a stuntman because it’s an easy job.”