If you think your job is hazardous, try working the red carpet for the Taurus World Stunt Awards (pre-taped last Monday night on the Paramount Studios backlot and airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. EDT on AMC). Normally, the carpet is somewhat open air, but for this event we were corralled between two walls, which didn’t make much sense at first. But then, as host The Rock worked his way down the press line, the event coordinators cleared a huge swath of press from their spots on the carpet. And then, somewhere in the distance, we heard… the revving of a motorbike. And that’s when I realized, Oh God, someone is going to jump the carpet.
Yep, that’s right, I placed myself adjacent to someone else placingthemselves in mortal danger for your benefit. And motor-biker RobbieMadison’s jump over us was pretty awesome. The guy grabbed some seriousair. And The Rock approved: “I’ve had the opportunity to be in somepretty bad-ass action sequences, but it’s always breathtaking when yousee something like that.”
But then Robbie jumped again, this time completely flipping his bikebefore landing out of our view. And then he jumped again, stretchinghis legs behind his cycle. Then again, doing a handstand on thehandlebars. And again, and again, and again, each time landing with an off-stage BANG-thud-thud-thud that made me surprised I hadn’t yet swallowed my gum. By his eleventhjump — a full flip of the cycle with his legs splayed out behind him —a member of the press yelled “Okay, we’ve got it! Stop before you killyourself!” After his 15th jump, he finally stopped — but not beforepopping a wheelie while driving on the carpet itself, at which point Irealized he was wearing a bow-tie. We later spoke briefly on thecarpet. Robbie is 25, has been riding a bike since he was 4, and hashands that could crush my face. It turns out, he didn’t escape hisred-carpet stunt unscathed: After one of his midair handlebarhandstands, he landed weird and pinched off a nerve in his right arm,rendering it (temporarily) useless. And he still kept jumping. So, you see, I really did place myself in mortal danger!