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Interview: ‘Peacemaker’ Stunt Coordinator Gaston Morrison On How He Helps Add the Action to the Action Hero

Photograph by Katie Yu/ HBO Max

James Gunn‘s HBO Max follow-up to his hit DC film The Suicide Squad surprised many viewers in a number of ways. Peacemaker was violent, funny, and at times quite touching. While John Cena (interviewed by Joey here, with his Gunn conversation here) and company certainly get loads of (deserved) credit, the unsung heroes of the series are the people elevated the intensity of each episode by making the impossible, possible – the stunt coordinator. Their fingerprints all over the series found in every explosion, death-defying fall, the hand to hand combat, gunfights and so much more. Of course, they were even involved in coordinating parts of that opening dance number (choreographed brilliantly by Charissa Barton). Seriously.

Awards Radar sat down with Peacemaker stunt coordinator Gaston Morrison to learn all about what goes into safely putting the action into the action-packed series. The conversation covered the challenges the stunt team faced, working with Cena, Dannielle Brooks, Jennifer Holland and the rest of the squad, and even their involvement in that opening dance. Morrison gives us a peek behind the curtain into what the stunt coordinator’s role is in making this all happen.

Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

Below are some selections from my interview with Morrison, while the full audio interview can be heard below.

On when the stunt coordinator’s works comes into play:

Gaston Morrison: There’s quite a few little things that oftenly that we’re involved in that you would not think the stunt department needs to be involved with. If there’s some sort of risk or danger, or action or choreography or something that needs to sort of tie in, then, you know, usually we are involved in some to some degree. 

On one surprising moment where a stunt is required:

Gaston Morrison: That’s why we see, when he slides in, he’s got his back to the camera, slides in with his back the camera, and turns around so on that cut is where we switched to double out for John Cena during the turnaround. This is what we do – in those in those situations, it’s you always adjusting, trying to make things work in different ways.

On the cast stepping up to perform their own stunts:

Gaston Morrison: Jennifer (Holland), she was great. She was such a trooper! She’d be in the gym with us training all the time. She’d be working with her doubles. She’d be training on our own time and she just wanted to be doing all the action everything as much as she could and she was a trooper she was so great about it was so a lot of fun to work with.

AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH GASTON MORRISON

Check out Gaston Morrison’s Emmy-nominated work on Peacemaker, streaming exclusively on HBO Max.

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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.
Email: filmsnork@gmail.com

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