“We get to Execute Stunts People Wait Their Entire Careers to Perform”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – October 25, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Whether acting, competing in sports, executing complicated Hollywood stunts or simply experiencing life, Vanessa Vander Pluym’s ever-growing skillset is not by happenstance, but by design. Co-host of the new SPEED show Stuntbusters (premieres Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Vander Pluym brings several of her talents to the new prime time program, admitting to an attraction to things that scare her a little bit.
“When I was young, I was very shy,” Vander Pluym said. “I was afraid of everything … heights, conversation, dancing in front of people. In overcoming those fears, I’ve developed a rule to live by — a little afraid, do it … a lot afraid, there’s a reason, don’t do it.”
For Stuntbusters (BASE Productions), Vander Pluym works with co-host Garrett Hammond to explore and explode motoring myths, revealing the facts and figures behind the latest, fastest and hottest automotive stunt technology. Each experiment is captured at one thousand frames per second; allowing viewers to witness the physics behind the vehicular mayhem.
Acting since she was a young teen and adding stunt work nearly 10 years ago, Vander Pluym’s first major gag came as a stunt double for actress Charisma Carpenter on the set of the hit television show, Charmed. A wire gag called for her to fly across the room into a table and chairs.
“Standing there, wrapped in wire, hearing them count down three, two, one … it all happened so quickly,” said Vander Pluym, a world-class rhythmic gymnast and black-belt martial artist trained in high falls, weapons, air ram, water sports, motorcycles and more. “But it is amazing how your mind slows everything down and adjusts to the moment. It allowed me to be aware of things that were happening in a split-second, land and continue acting. It was then that I realized I had the ‘cat’ reflexes to do this.”
Her most complicated stunt to date: a four-story balcony-collapse scene with more than a dozen other stunt people for the popular series, ER.
“We were all wired to a crane and the floor we were standing on was blown and then we were falling through each floor with debris flying all around us,” Vander Pluym explained. “Everything had to go just right from the rigging to the actions of the stunt performers.”
Beyond her athletic ability, Vander Pluym has a degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA and truly understands the science involved in producing a successful Hollywood stunt.
“Today’s stunts have a lot more technology involved,” said Vander Pluym, who participates in production brainstorming sessions for Stuntbusters. “You trust these people with your life and the stunt coordinators come prepared with equations and multiple tests; but even the best-planned stunts have a degree of danger.”
Already an accomplished actor, Vander Pluym sees no boundaries surrounding her wide-ranging interests, continually seeking opportunities that test her emotionally and physically.
“I don’t want to be limited in life,” said Vander Pluym, recently drafted onto a roller derby team in the L.A. Derby Dolls league under the skating name Mental Skate. “I never want to be considered ‘just an actor’ or ‘just a stunt person’ or ‘just a woman.’ I want to be able to do it all.”
For more information on Vander Pluym, please visit her Web sites: http://www.vanessavp.com and www.stuntvan.com. For more information about BASE Productions, please visit: http://www.baseproductions.com.
SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 84 million homes in North America, SPEED, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services, including SPEED2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming and on-demand events complementing offerings of the linear network. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets under Chairman & CEO David Hill. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.
Erik Arneson, 704-501-5795