Inside Man: Roy Taylor
Roy “Elvis” Taylor is a father of two, and an English Clark Kent. Counting high falls, street fighting and riding with sword and shield as work experience, performing extreme stunts is all part of Taylor’s nine-to-five routine. His versatility as a performer has allowed him to appear in everything from period dramas like The Prince of Persia to traditional romances like The Magic Flute and, most recently, in 2010’s Kick Ass. While working on Interview‘s October cover shoot with Naomi Campbell, Taylor took a few minutes off of his work to reflect on his extreme career.
OLIVIA GILETTI: How did you first start performing stunts?
ROY TAYLOR: From the age of seven I dreamed of being a stunt man. I wanted to be a hero like the ones I watched on TV and film, and I found out that the real heroes were the stunt performers. The stunt men and women risked their lives for the actors and created action sequences that kept me glued to the screen in amazement. Spurred on I started karate and later went to drama school to work on my performing skills. I learnt horse riding, scuba diving, gymnastics, rock climbing and started to learn other fighting arts. My first big break into TV happened when I was 16; I was asked to fall down some stairs and jump from one building to another for a coca-cola commercial.
GILETTI: What has been your most extreme stunt?
TAYLOR: Memorable for different reasons a few of my favorite stunts are: doubling for Colin Firth in the film St. Trinians where I fell out of a window at 28 feet into a small concrete pond with just three feet of water and no room for error. Childhood dreams came true when I got to play the Armenian Superhero in the opening sequence of Kick Ass. I stood at the edge of a building 500 feet up and did a fall into the taxicab.
GILETTI: To which of your celebrity clients do you feel you bear the strongest resemblance?
TAYLOR: I’m not sure about this one, with the help of hair and make-up artists I’ve doubled some very different looking people.
GILETTI: Which stunts have most inspired your work?
TAYLOR: I’ve always been interested and you could say influenced by the silent movie era, starring performers like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Howard Lyode. Most of the stunts you see in these films are real with little or no camera trickery and no visual effects.
GILETTI: What is your greatest fear?
TAYLOR: I suppose my greatest fear is getting it wrong. I have two beautiful children and beautiful supporting wife that wait for me to come home after a days work. My job is to make sure I don’t let them down and although a lot of the time I come home battered and bruised and in some cases a bit broken, I still come home.
GILETTI: Is there a particular stunt that you have yet to perform that you would like to?
TAYLOR: There is no stunt I can think of that I would like to do that I haven’t done all ready. For me as long as the audience is entertained by the stunts that i am a part of then i believe i have done my job well. I often think back to when I was a kid watching the action sequences and how they made me feel, I hope the sequences that I do give people the same feeling.
GILETTI: If you could stunt double for any actor living or dead who would it be?
TAYLOR: I have always been a big fan of Bruce Willis and am waiting to find out, hopefully in the next couple of days if I’m going to be doubling for him in a film out in Spain. If this doesn’t happen I feel privileged to be asked in the first place.