Could you imagine stunt-driving a truck?
Former truck driver and glass hauler, 64 year-old Jim Wilkey is now a Hollywood stunt driver and has been doing it for over 30 years. Wilkey has appeared in over 200 action/stunt scenes both in movies and on television.
One of his most famous stunts was a truck flip performed for Batman film, “The Dark Knight” five years ago. In this film, Wilkey doubles for the late Heath Ledger as the Joker. In the scene, Batman rides his motorcycle under the eighteen wheeler, winds a cable around it’s back wheels, and secures it to a pole. When the Joker runs out of slack, the truck flips end-over-end and lands on it’s back.
This stunt had never been attempted before, and Wilkey only had one test run for the truck flip before preforming the stunt for the film. In order to cause the truck flip, a TNT triggered catapult had to be built into the trailer.
The Dark Knight | Watch The Scene:
The Dark Knight | Stunt Truck Flip In The Making:
Wilkey explains the experience of stunt driving as, “Hours and hours of boredom interjected with a few moments of sheer terror.”
Although “The Dark Knight’s” truck flip may had been Wilkey’s most famous truck stunt to date, it’s certainly not the first. Some of his other famous stunts involving big rigs include a chase scene in 1990 Clint Eastwood film, “The Rookie,” and a bus roll in 1993’s “The Fugitive.” He’s also performed stunts in “Die Hard,” “Terminator Salvation,” “Inception,” “Rush Hour,” “Scare Tactics,” “Hancock,” and “Joy Ride” to name a few.
The Rookie | Watch The Scene:
The Fugitive | Watch The Scene:
Wilkey says that he taught himself to drive, and that he also teaches stunt driving to others at California’s Camarillo Airport.