SFF) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. Many know your valuable work in film without perhaps knowing who you are. Although without you many legendary films would not have existed in the form we know them today. You are a stuntman and you are best known for your work in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. As far as I know, your first job was in THE TERMINATOR. How did you get this job?


Peter Kent) I moved to Los Angeles from Canada in 1984 and was living in the local YMCA and trying to find small acting rules without even so much as a resume or a headshot. I came home one day to find a message at the desk of the YMCA saying that there was a small casting company across the street at the ABC television Netwerk and James Cameron wanted to meet me for a standin job lighting for Arnold. When I got there he hired me for $40 a day flat and then asked me if I ever done stunts before and I lied and said yes. And the rest is history after 14 years and 14 films.


 SFF) Working as a stuntman means a lot of work: on yourself, your body, your psyche and your will. How did you get the idea to become a stuntman? Was there a special event and/or movie that made you want to do it?


P.K.) I didn’t really go into it thinking about being a stunt man. I had done a lot of minor acting rules and stage work in Canada before I went to Los Angeles. It was just the first thing that I got hired for and after that Arnold kept requesting me and bringing me along as part of this deal so it was just an extension of that. But obviously doubling the greatest bodybuilder in the world required me working out with him a lot so I spent a lot of time with him every day in the gym and then his house and cooking for him and then we became friends went skiing and spend a lot more time together also rehearsing dialogue as I had become an actor before a stunt man. He could trust me as a friend.


 SFF) How do you understand your work as a stuntman? Is it rewarded enough or is this work still too much in the background (in the sense of recognition)?


P.K.)  I never looked at it from a point of recognition I was just there to do the job and I enjoyed hanging out I enjoyed the cigars I enjoyed the camaraderie of the other stunt guys and just being there making movies and I never really thought about the recognition for it - that just sort of went with the territory.


SFF) You were starting your career in the glorious decade of the 80s and 90s. What do you think about that time? Why do people love this period of movies? 


 P.K.) Yeah the 70s 80s and 90s were amazing times I mean there is no better music on the planet and some of the best action movies were made back then. I think everything these days is some attempt to try and go back to those types of movies but of course the stunts are all done in computer generation now and look nothing like the practical work we did back in the day when your ass was on the line every minute. I mean sure a lot of the dialogue was cliché not just in Arnold‘s movies but in almost everybody’s and the action was raw and big and they were blockbuster movies.


 SFF) What is your opinion about education to become an expert in stunts? Is there any requirement or talent you need to have next to enthusiasm?


P.K.) I ran a stunt school here in Vancouver Canada for well over a decade and we probably turned out about 500 students into the local film scene. You can find some of those teaser trailers from Discovery channel on my Facebook page - Peter Kents school of hard knocks that will give you a sense of what we used to do as far as teaching. It was a lot of hard work but rewarding and I think that if you’re ever going to get in the stance you need at the very minimum martial arts experience and then start practising fights and falls weapons training and hopefully if you can get it somewhere some car driving in full burns or fire burn experience. Unfortunately, since my partner died we closed the school and there’s nothing like what we used to do available to anyone in this area any longer. But between my stunt career my acting career my directing and producing career with my TV series Stuntdawgs (Discovery channel) and then the stunt school I have been in the Film Industry for over 35 years.


 SFF) How exactly did you go about planning certain stunt sequences as a stunt coordinator?


 P.K.) Before I go any further safety as always Paramount on my first consideration as I’ve lost friends in the dentistry due to negligence. The next thing is breaking the scene down - looking at what’s required from the stunt people to deliver those scenes to camera. Then it’s working with the special effects through with any for explosions or bullet hits as well as the armourer. Then making sure my stunt guys are well protected and padded and knowing the limitations of the stunt itself and the special effects.


 SFF) When you compare today's action films with those from the 1980s and 90s, how do you see the development? I mean, action is always "over the top," but doesn't it seem like too much in some movies?


P.K.) Well I think some of it has become quite ludicrous I remember watching fast X and the scenes where they’re driving down the waterfall are just so outrageously stupid and it’s all computer generated so it looks like you’re watching a video game. I have no patience for that kind of stuff it’s not real and it’s not even really stunts. But as you can see from all of Arnold‘s movies we always tried to go over the top.


SFF) What is the difference between working on films for cinema and television?


P.K.)  Well Cinema always gives you a bigger budget so you have more latitude to do bigger scenes and bigger explosions and more stunt guys and TV is exactly the opposite they want it done quickly they want to be able to move on and save money in time but I actually like that mentality. I like working on smaller budget movies and TV series because a lot less weight in the camera department and in the staffing and in the crew and it allows you to move quickly get your shots and carry-on. I remember working with Arlen many times we would spend hours just waiting for a shot to be set up. That’s not affordable in TV and low budget movies.


SFF) You are also active as an actor. Is it a big advantage to know that you have the physicality and skill to perform your own stunts?


P.K.)  Yes, I started out as an actor and eventually went back to it after my injuries on the movie Eraser and with that I took my stunt abilities and became a stunt actor so that there was no need to ever have to double me. It was a big advantage and always helped my career as an actor as well.


SFF) Your Portfolio is a wonderful compilation of fantastic work. Do you have some favorite works of yours and is there a project that, unfortunately, never came to fruition, even though you had already designed a lot for it?


P.K.)  My favourite work was always the Terminator movies and then last action hero and predator. I’m also working a screenwriter although that’s more of a hobby these days so I have two projects I’m trying to put together I would like to see get made.


SFF) How must I imagine a day in the life of Peter Kent when you get an engagement? What is your training schedule like, or what did it look like during the times you were Arnold's double?


P.K.) Arnold would usually call me up and say we have a new script and a new movie were doing and immediately I would go over to his house and we would read it and discuss some of the work that was required and then we would start hitting the gym together every morning. Once we got into production I was always on the set very early before I was needed to be there so that I could make sure that what they were doing with me was safe and I could see how it was being set up for my own preservation.


SFF) Is there any work you are particularly proud of or any that you would do better with today's opportunities and if so which and why?


P.K.)  No I’m particularly proud of the Terminator movies and last action hero but I would not want to see those reworked.


SFF) CGI nowadays could be a curse or a blessing even in the art of stunts. What do you think about it comparing to “old school”- films back in the days? Does it makes the progress easier?


P.K.) Yes CGI makes the process quicker cheaper and easier and also more risk-free however the finished product looks nowhere near as good as the practical stunts we did back in the day.


SFF) What does your life look like today? Are you still in contact with many people from the industry?


P.K.) I still have my finger on the pulse of the industry however I have my own real estate company now. It’s much easier on the bones!


SFF) I held up with one of the most important question to the end: What was the most difficult job you were working on and why?


P.K.) It was TERMINATOR 2 only because of the rigourous and brutal days that we put in and the beatings that I took on a nearly daily basis. it was also annoying working with Jim Cameron required perfection for every shot and a lot of rehearsals which were equally as brutal as the actual scene being shot.  


SFF) Dear Mr. Kent.  I thank you immensely for taking time doing this interview and wish you all the best for your future movie making.


P.K.) Cheers.