Even if you don't know Chris Daniels by name, you may soon be lining up to see his latest film. "Spider-Man 3" is expected to be another blockbuster hit when it is released nationally on May 4, and Daniels is actor Tobey Maguire's stunt double. It is Daniels in Spidey's trademark webbed suit, performing those death-defying stunts.
Daniels, who appeared in all three of the Spider-Man films, presents his interactive presentation, "Spider-Man Unmasked," in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts at 8 tonight. In his show, Daniels will take audience members through his props bag, simulate Hollywood "fight scenes" and share behind-the-scenes clips and secrets of some of the most heart-stopping stunts of his career. Tickets are $11; for info, call 645-ARTS or visit www.ubcfa.org.
He spoke by telephone recently from his California home.
>How did you get the Spider-Man job?
I auditioned, along with 50 other guys, but it was not for the stunt role. They needed a male model, a certain body type, so they could build the Spider-Man costume and create the Spider-Man look. I modeled down to my underwear, put on a white spandex suit and eventually got that modeling job. Yeah, I stood still while they drew the web lines on me.
Later, when they needed a stunt man, they had several to choose from and we could all do what they needed, so the coordinator told [the wardrobe department] to decide. Since [the wardrobe staff] had been working with me for months on modeling the suit, I also got the stunt job.
>Are you a risk-taker off camera?
I am really not. I wasn't a wild kid jumping off the roof or anything like that. I am actually a shy, quiet type. I don't even go dirt biking like some of my friends do.
>Are there safety things you do to minimize your risk of injury?
I always check my own stunts. That was some great advice I got starting out. You have to look out for yourself. I always like to be there when they set up the stunts -- the rigging, the prepping of the cars, or whatever it is [being used for the stunt.] I like to know if something is not right, no matter what. Others are on the set, too, but they are also concerned with getting the shot, so you have to be concerned with what happens to you.
>You are 30 years old now. Will the body tell you when it is time to quit?
When it stops being fun, I guess that's what it's about. But I have had some injuries, too. I suffered a mild concussion [filming "Spider-Man 2"]. ... That injury changed things. I realized that I am not invincible and I can get hurt.
I have a girlfriend now, and might want to get married and have kids someday. I don't want my daughter asking: "When is daddy getting out of the hospital? Is daddy OK?"
-- Maria Ceraulo, Special to The News