Tell about yourself and your background! *
I was born in the west Indies on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. I moved to the US as a teenager. I am a college graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering technology with an aeronautical concentration. I'm a former member of the greatest and largest police department in the world, the NYPD. During my full career as an NYPD officer I was involved in rescue operations as a first responder during 9/11. I also spent eleven and a half years of my career as a SWAT officer assigned to the Emergency service unit.
What inspired you to become a stunt performer?
I always loved watching action films from a very young age and was always fascinated with all the action sequences especially the car chases, the fight scenes and the explosions with people flying through the air. I had a deep curiosity about how these scenes were done and I always felt that this was something I would one day learn how to do. Fast forward to my adult life. One day I went on an audition for a feature film staring Michael Jai White and someone at the audition asked me if I ever considered doing stunts and that I would make a good double for him because of our similar muscular body structure. I didn't give it much thought but after I began training as a SWAT officer and learning all these new and exciting skills such as rappelling, fast roping from helicopters and sides of buildings, handling various types of heavy weapons and learning tactical dynamic entries into buildings, busses, trains and conducting moving boats assaults, I thought to myself why not go to stunt school? I could learn how to apply these skills to film and television and learn some additional stunt skills in the process. So I enrolled myself in the USA international stunt school in Washington state.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a stunt behind it?
I would say that my greatest skill as a stunt performer is my overall physicality and my ability to learn quickly while following directions. I am also very proficient at wire work for someone my size.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
The best part of being a stunt performer for me is just being on set in that environment with other stunt performers and film crew working together for a common goal to bring the performance to life on screen. In my experience the comradery has always been great and it's always a learning experience for me.
Tell your all-time favorite stunt story!
It has to be the time I was working on an episode of "Lights Out" starring Holt McCalney and Stacy Keech. I was doing a boxing scene with Holt when the director asked for more realistic energy so Holt decided that it was ok to make actual glove to face contact with him. My body weight at the time was 250 muscular lbs and I remember being very hesitant to make contact with his face, in fear of hurting the actor. Holt kept reassuring me that it was fine so we laid into each other with the right amount of energy to make it look good and no one got hurt. Holt is one tough cookie.
What advice would you give other stunt performers?
The advice I would give is to always pay close attention and exercise proper set etiquette. Be humble, be kind and respectful to everyone on set. Be willing to adapt and learn different ways of doing things. Listen and follow directions to the best of your abilities. Be always available to your stunt coordinator when on set and be a true professional at all times. When not on set be sure to always keep training and keep your skills sharp.
Anything else you'd like to tell the community about?
Keep training and be willing to help your fellow stunt performer improve their craft if asked or if needed because that might be the next person you are on set with. We all know that being a stunt performer is very rewarding but also can be very dangerous.
Please share your social media handles and how we can follow you!
Please include any links to stunt reels or videos you'd like to share!
YouTube: Marlon Hospedales