Participants learned how to kick, punch and even fall like a stuntman. Photo: Tyler Harper

VIDEO: Learn how to fake a fight with stuntman Carl Fortin

The Hollywood North stuntman was in Nelson to teach a workshop

Carl Fortin’s favourite stunt of his career wasn’t a high-stakes fight scene or a death-defying leap off a building.

It was the one where he had to strip naked and fall down a set of stairs.

Fortin is an accomplished stuntman who has been working in the entertainment industry for 13 years. He’s worked on movies such as Deadpool 2 and Pompei and TV shows including Arrow, Hannibal and The 100.

But in 2011, Fortin was asked to take off his clothes for a scene on the show Skins.

“I had to fall down 23 steps in a century-old home in Toronto fully nude,” he says. “The character, he’s about to take a shower, he goes into a washroom and I think there’s a homeless man sleeping in the bathtub who caught him off-guard. So then he fell out of the washroom and tumbled down the stairs.

“Thankfully I only had to do that one once.”

Fortin, fully dressed this time, was in Nelson on Friday to lead a workshop at Kootenay Martial Arts. The event packed the dojang with kids and adults ready to learn from someone just as capable as throwing a punch as he is faking one.

The workshop concluded with fight-scene training, during which Fortin pressed his students to practise moving as slow as possible.

“How I deal with six-year-old kids is how I deal with an actor,” he says. “You just slow it right down to the basics and with time and practice we speed things up and make them closer when we need to. But safety being No. 1, always.”

When he isn’t on a set, Fortin runs Flow Training Centre in Squamish where he teaches parkour, martial arts and acrobatics. He earned his first black belt at age seven and later went into the military, but opted to leave in favour of a career in show business.

He says he’s since worked on 53 shows, about 15 commercials and around 1,500 live performances. On sets, Fortin has found, he’s needed to be good at a lot more than just martial arts.

“One day you show up and you’re fighting on hockey skates, so your skating [has] to be good. Then it could be a flip or an acrobatic move, so gymnastics helps. So being very diverse in your skill set and being good to people, because favours come and go and if you miss opportunities because you’re not being a good person then your chance won’t happen.”

A good stuntman is invisible to the audience. There are no Oscars for stunts, and Fortin says a lot of the time he’s either helping make sure sets are safe for actors or waiting for his scene.

The kid who once dreamed of being a star has now made a career out of making others look like stars.

“I wanted to be in the spotlight and I wanted people to ooh and ahh at the hard work that I was putting into my skills. And then that kind of killed me in the movie industry. [People would say], ‘No, no, we don’t want to see you. We want you hidden.’”

On Friday, though, the spotlight was solely on Fortin. He ended class with a circle in which students showed off their moves, and people marvelled when he stepped in for a few flips of his own.

“I feel like I thrive in this,” he said.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Falling can be fun, when it doesn’t hurt that is. Photo: Tyler Harper

Hollywood North stuntman Carl Fortin shows Amelia Stewart a punch combination during a workshop on Friday at Kootenay Martial Arts. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

Community invited to check out mining trade show in Trail

Trade show free and open public on Wednesday and Thursday in the Trail Memorial Centre

Grand Forks to receive business recovery funds post-flood

The community will receive two Rural Dividends grants for a total of $655,000.

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Most Read