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THE BOUNTY HUNTER

Putting The Action In Action-Comedy
Though The Bounty Hunter has romantic elements, the filmmakers were clear from the very beginning about the movie they would be making – one in which the action elements were as strong as the romantic chemistry between the actors.

With Gerard Butler, an action-movie vet, as the male lead, it was certain that he would do as many of his own stunts as was feasible. "Everybody associated with the movie gets very nervous when the movie star decides they're gonna jump off the building or they're gonna do those things. But Gerry did.”

"I was smashing into people, running up and down stairs, hitting people, climbing ladders, jumping off roofs,” says Butler. "I probably did 40 takes where I jump off a roof and smash on the ground and roll over. But it's magical when you see it in the movie.”

Moritz was confident Butler would take to the stunts well because of his professional experience. "Gerry's obviously so well trained in stunts from doing movies like 300. He was really adept at different scenes where we have fights, where he's throwing punches or taking punches,” Moritz explains. 

What was more surprising was that Aniston was just as ready, willing, and able as her co-star. "I've never really done something that had so much action,” says Aniston. 

"There are a lot of stunts in this movie, between golf carts flying down hills and going into lakes, and between cars crashing and people jumping over walls… Jennifer and Gerry were game to do as much of it as we would allow,” says Moritz. "There's nothing better than the actors actually doing it themselves, for us, as audience members to believe it.”

Aniston recalls the physical challenges wryly. "I was dumped into a trunk. I ran for miles and miles in four-inch Manolos. I got covered in pond scum. Gun shots, car chases, crashes. It was so much fun!” she deadpans. 

With her character in handcuffs much of the time, Aniston's stunt work was considerable. "If there's a car, she gets handcuffed to the door. In the hotel, she gets handcuffed to the bed,” Butler notes. "She has to taser me to escape…she manages to get the cuffs on me at one point. I chase her down, I smash her pedicab to catch her. There was a time where she had to walk around with the inside of a car door attached to her wrist, dragging it on the ground.”

The crowning achievement of all the stunt sequences is the opening scene of a crowded Fourth of July parade, in which Milo is chasing down a bounty target dressed as Uncle Sam. In stilts. "I had the crazy idea of putting Uncle Sam on stilts and Milo chasing him through the streets of New York,” says Tennant of his ambitious opening. "That turned into a much bigger stunt sequence than I had ever envisioned.”

"I thought, well, you get one of those guys from Cirque du Soliel and you put him on the stilts and you have him run,” Tennant explains of his original plan of how to rig the Uncle Sam character chase scene. "In your head you come up with these things and it's a funny idea in the room, but you never really think about what the physical production issues are.”

The production issues required three blocks gridded with wires and weeks to prepare. Milo runs through hundreds of people, smashes through marching bands, dodges banners, runs up and down stairs, climbs onto roofs, and, of course, jumps off roofs.

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