Jason Bell has appeared on Star Trek Beyond, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, Arrow, The 100, and yes, even Supernatural. Not as an actor though, no, Jason is more specialized than that: he is a stunt performer.
So in Supernatural, season 7, episode 2 (Hello, Cruel World) and episode 3 (The Girl Next Door), we see Jason as Misha Collins (Castiel) – in season 8, episode 7 (A Little Slice of Kevin), Jason is the stunt double for Mark Sheppard (Crowley).
Jason has also recently appeared in Timeless, as the stunt double for Matt Lanter (Wyatt Logan); in Arrow and in The Flash. His list of credit is pretty incredible as he’s appeared (so to speak) in nearly all of the hottest movies and television shows in the past six years.
How did you become a stunt performer?
I grew up in athletics and was pretty heavy into soccer, hockey and martial arts. I also spent seven years in the Army and started my career in film after my military contract ended. I got back into martial arts, started training where local stunt guys were training and started to get my name out there in the industry. I spent a lot of time hustling, visiting sets and offering to volunteer to help out. It’s kind of the old school tradition to pay your dues when trying to get in such a tight community.
What has been your most difficult stunt to date? Your most fun to do?
As far as most difficult, one time comes to mind when I was doubling Milo Ventimiglia on ABC‘s “The Whispers.” The director wanted me to come in and drive a car through an extremely small alley way. When I did my initial walk through of the alley, I found out I only had three inches of room on each side of the car. It wasn’t super dangerous, but it was extremely daunting to try and get a car through such little space.
To this day, the most fun stunt I worked on was doing ratchet “wire work” on season one of The CW‘s “The Flash.” I was doubling Robbie Amell’s “Firestorm” in a scene where he pulls a lever inside a vortex type room which explodes. This sends him (me) flying back 20 feet into a wall. We rehearsed this stunt for about eight hours the day before. It’s still the coolest stunt I’ve worked on.
Do you have any behind-the- scenes stories you can share?
While working on STAR TREK BEYOND, the whole cast would joke around, take tons of Instagram selfies and videos with the Dubsmash app. It was pretty entertaining to see this go on between shots and then stop as soon as the sound was speeding and the camera started rolling. I could hear crickets as the cast went into “serious” actor mode.
In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE there is a scene where we run into a forest, and all these birds are attacking us all around. Michael Fassbender wanted a crack at using the special effects bird prop for us to react to. So there he was running around on set pretending to be this aggressive bird and us having to react to him making birds sounds and running around like a madman. Such a blast.
If you could have any one super power, what would it be?
This is always a tough one to answer. I could cheat and say my power would be to absorb everyone else’s power but that’s just not fair! I guess I’d go with the ability to fly. Honestly, I can’t really think of a cooler super power than that?!
I understand that you were the stunt double for Misha Collins twice, and once for Mark Sheppard (Supernatural); what was that like?
“Supernatural” is always a blast to work on. That show has been going for 12 seasons now, and it’s this well-oiled machine. The main cast of the show are all really great guys. They’re super easy to approach, and they really respect the stunt guys. Misha is just a down to earth nice guy. He’s very humble, and the type to take a photo with you or just sit and chat. Mark Sheppard is your typical British actor. He’s a class act, super friendly and very professional. I’ve always had such a great experience on the show.
You are also the stunt double for Matt Lanter in Timeless; what has been your favorite scene to film for that show?
I have to go with a scene in the second episode when Matt’s character, Wyatt Logan, has to fight this big goon type fellow in the house. We rehearsed this particular fight with the actors and it was all hands on deck. Matt and I took turns in certain parts of the fight. I take most of the big hits and Matt will do the nice cool hero shots. He’s quite keen and a very capable guy when it comes to taking part in some of his own stunts.
What do you enjoy most about being a stunt performer?
The constant hunger to evolve and become an overall better performer. I’m always on a different set with different performers and working for different coordinators. If I can absorb and learn, I’ll be setup for success. I simply love being on set. It also gives me the flexibility to spend more time at home with my family. Definitely a career I can constantly grow with.
What was the funniest thing to ever happen on set?
I was working on this film called VENDETTA, and while the stunt coordinator was doing a behind the scenes interview, the whole stunt team got glasses of water and snuck up on him and drenched him in water in the middle of the interview.
How did being in the Army prepare you for being a stunt performer?
There’s a certain amount of discipline I took away with me. Being in such a regimented life style for so long stayed part of my personality, and it’s kept me on track. Being in the Army also gave me thicker skin and a better perspective on my day to day life. There can be tough days when I just want to lay in bed or be lazy, but there’s an inner flame and desire to be a better performer that inspires me to overcome the hard days. It’s easy to take my job for granted, but after serving a tour in Afghanistan, I definitely feel extremely lucky to be where I am today.
Do you have any projects that you’d like to – and can – share?
I had the opportunity to work on the film WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. I loved working on that set and I was able to get a moment to meet and have a quick chat with Andy Serkis, who is the most soft-spoken and humble person I’ve ever met. The stunt team for the film was an amazing group to work with. It was like hanging out with 30 brothers everyday. We worked some long cold days, but I think the end result is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see it.
Jason will also be appearing with his amazing stunts in upcoming projects Prison Break: Sequel, Power Rangers, The Ninth Passenger (for Jesse Metcalfe) and 1922 (for Thomas Jane). He’s very in demand and enjoying every minute of it.