The Wildest Stunt in ‘Beckett’ Was Done by John David Washington Himself

The Wildest Stunt in ‘Beckett’ Was Done by John David Washington Himself

Netflix’s Beckett stars John David Washington (the eponymous Beckett) as an average, not-so-in-shape guy. Some nefarious people, however, want to kill this normal guy for reasons unknown (at the beginning of the movie, at least). And so we follow Beckett across Greece as he flees his potential killers.

The chase has Beckett getting shot, running through the woods and — in a vertigo-inducing scene — jumping off a rocky cliff into some shrubbery. While speaking with Beckett director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, the filmmaker shared that Washington actually did that dizzying stunt.

An Action Movie With No Green Screens

“It was really John David hanging on the cliff,” Filomarino shared. The director went on to describe the experience of shooting the scene, which included the camera going over the edge and catching the bottom of a tree-filled ravine hundreds of feet below:

“Of course we had the safety in place and everything. But just the physical presence of being there. And then it’s about finding the right angle and the right feeling, which in that case is this sort of sucking of gravity. And I just tried to find the best way to deliver that sucking, if you know what I mean. Because when people are afraid of heights, actually there is this weird magnet that pulls you to the edge. And that’s what I wanted to convey a little bit.

And as hard as it was to get to that place and to bring equipment, we did have a small arm, a small crane, that we shot it with. There was no studio in the movie. We shot everything on location. Not a single green screen or anything. But that’s what I mean when he was literally hanging off the cliff. And it’s the cliff you see, it’s not a different cliff.”

I’ve seen Beckett, and can personally attest that this cliff-hanging scene is no joke. The fact that the entire sequence was shot on location is impressive, and not only because of the heights Washington went for the role (sorry, not sorry for the pun). I also imagine Filomarino and the crew worked hard to schlep all their gear deep into the woods.

This isn’t the only action scene in the movie, but it’s the one that best made me feel like I was in Beckett’s shoes. Would I be able to make that jump if my life depended on it? I’m not sure, but I’m glad I can sit on my couch and watch Beckett do it rather than find out for myself.

Beckett is now streaming on Netflix.

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