Exclusive: Van Damme discusses his 'epic' split
January 18, 2014
In November, everyone was talking about Jean-Claude Van Damme's Volvo Truck demonstration where he did an "epic" split between two moving trucks.
The fascinating scene went viral on YouTube with more than 68 million views, Van Damme saw a career resurgence and Volvo Truck sales rose 31 percent in November, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now promoting his film, Welcome to the Jungle (in theaters and VOD February 7), Van Damme tells USA TODAY over email that performing the stunt was a concern for the action star.
"In action films that involve stunts there is always a risk," says Van Damme. "I would be less than candid if I didn't admit that I was concerned from time to time, when you are not concerned, you get careless, and then you get hurt."
However, when he shot the tranquil-looking scene, he insists that the only thing going through his mind was "the music of Enya." The Irish singer also sings in the finished product.
Van Damme says the commercial was done in one take and that it is not something he has ever really practiced. "I am a little short of trucks at the moment," he says.
But it is clear that Van Damme, even at 53, is still fighting fit. "I have a regular exercise regimen that I have stayed with for years," he adds.
As to whether he has "a body crafted to perfection" as he says in the commercial, Van Damme goes (somewhat) humble.
"You would have to speak with the manufacturer (about that)," he says.
The stunt, is part of a series of Volvo Truck features showing off their precision steering. Anders Vilhelmsson, Volvo Trucks public relations manager, says there were additional safety precautions that are not visible on the film. Van Damme had a safety line and there were platforms on each side of the two truck mirrors, one for each foot.
"The film is real," says Vilhemsson. "After several months of planning, and prior to filming the take, the production team rehearsed the stunt for three days."
Source: Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY
Jean-Claude Van Damme