Self/less Flyboard action puts our sport in one of the
biggest Hollywood blockbusters of the year.
H2RO got pretty excited to see the Self/less Flyboard action come across our Facebook wall many months ago. The new film starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley sees an extremely wealthy man (Kingsley), who is dying from cancer, undergo a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Reynolds). In the middle of the mansions, cars, girls we see a Flyboarder airborne for just a few seconds and wanted to reach out to whomever that was in the boots and learn a bit about this cool opportunity. Turns out professional water skier and Flyboarder Jeremy Armstrong was our hydroflight actor and below is the quick chat we had about the film.
H2RO MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY ARMSTRONG
H2RO) Jeremy tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in vertical water sports specifically Flyboarding?
Show Skiing has been my love and job for more than 25 years and I have enjoyed performing as a member of several amateur ski clubs around the USA such as Capital City, Mad-City, Minnieska, Plum Skiters, Muskego Water Bugs and the Cypress Gardens Ski Team. In that time I have competed in the many tournaments such as: the Lambs Farm Tournament, Mercury Open, Wausau Open, Tomahawk All-Star and several Wisconsin State and Show Ski Nationals.
At this time, I currently own and operate Absolute Aqua Sports, a business with deep roots in Show Skiing, a retail watersports store in conjunc- tion with water skiiing, Flyboard and Hang gliding school. I continue to host show ski tournaments, events and continue to hold a position on the board of the nonprofit On The Edge Children’s Foundation that focuses on teaching adaptive water skiing.
H2RO) Prior to Self/Less had you worked on any other films either Flyboarding or in any other capacity?
Yes, I have done stunts for movies and TV shows in the past. I did some Flyboarding for the Discovery Channel and have done stunts for other television and movie productions. Everything from Flyboard to Car & Motorcycle, jet skiing, water skiing and Hang gliding stunts.
H2RO) Walk us through how the Self/Less opportunity came to be a reality?
We (Absolute Aqua Sports) were contacted by the production company for Self/less to do Flyboard and Jet Ski stunts.
H2RO) I’ve watched the films trailer and without sharing any spoilers what was their vision for the Flyboard’s use in the film and did it change at all once you began working with them?
Their vision was for a fun lake scene with Ryan Reynolds. Ryan had a neck injury from a stunt in a previous film and chose not to Flyboard. Other cast members such as Derek Luke did Flyboard and at the end of the day, the Director Tarsem Singh went out and played (he even tried a back flip!)
H2RO) What was the actual flying like on set? Were there a number of cues you had to hit and maneuvers you had to repeat over and over? Any celebrity dirt to share 🙂
Yes to all of the above .We did have a lot of fun with Derek Luke and Ryan Reynolds playing with Jet Skis (Ryan totally sprayed us unexpectedly with his Jet Ski). It was like hanging out with any other friends.
H2RO) The future is looking very bright for Hydroflight Sports and I know we’ll be seeing flying on network TV this year and likely many more big and small screen appearances. What is your take on our sports growth and the increasing opportunities that exist within the entertainment industry?
The growth is very exciting for the sport. We (Absolute Aqua Sports) have been at the forefront of the sport since Oct. 2012 when we opened our operation and Flyboard dealership. We have helped introduce the sport to MANY festivals and Theme parks worldwide.
H2RO) There are new opportunities to compete as a Hydroflight athlete this year and I’m curious if you have any desire to participate in future competitions?
Yes we are always interested, unfortunately our busy schedule doesn’t allow us to. I currently still am a professional water skier and tandem rated hang glider pilot. We also are very busy with many traveling shows around the world.
H2RO) Back to the film, I’m interested to know if they were looking to feature a Flyboard specifically or just someone to fly an underfoot hydro device in general?
There was nothing about the actual Flyboard. They were looking for any type of hydro device and that is why they contacted us because they knew we had a school and an existing relationship with the TV and film industry.
H2RO) Finally, do you see yourself pursuing more film work specifically with your flying? How has this big budget experience affected your resume with regards to landing future work?
Yes, we are always pursuing TV and film work with Flyboarding, hang gliding, water skiing and Jet Ski stunts and look forward to future work.
Thanks for your time Jeremy and continued success with your diverse and exciting work.
Check out Jeremy flying the inspiring 28-year-old Chad Murphy-Price who doesn’t let his cerebral palsy slow him down for a second!