Daredevil Sheffield stuntman Joel Conlan is to hit the big screen doubling for Sacha Baron Cohen in his new comedy movie Grimsby.
Joel, aged 29, dealt with fist fights and explosions as he acted as the star’s double in the film, which follows a top MI6 spy and his football hooligan brother.
Filming for the role took Joel out of Sheffield and into Grimsby and South Africa.
Joel, a former City School pupil said: “It’s been a lot of fun to work on and very different to anything I’ve done before, there’s loads of laughs and action in Grimsby which is great.”
He spent three years training to be a stunt performer and with no dedicated training facility had to travel around the country from London to Lancashire to learn everything from scuba diving to trampolining.
Joel, originally from Intake who now lives in Waverley, said: “I’ve learned some good new skills. When you start training you are given a list of ten qualifications and you have to learn six.
“At first I thought that trampolining was an odd choice but since I got into the job it’s become very important, it taught me about jumping and landing really well.”
Since qualifying, Joel has appeared in films and TV programmes including Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy.
“Grimsby was very different to anything I’d ever done before. All the other shows I’ve done were made in quite a similar way,” he said.
Joel has long been a fan of Sacha’s work and says this new film is quite a change for the Borat star.
“Grimsby is quite different to Sacha’s other work,” he said.
“They got the director of The Incredible Hulk in and there’s a really big cast so it’s quite different to Borat and The Dictator.
“I grew up with Ali G and his other work so I’ve always been a fan of Sacha’s.”
After studying performing arts for a year, Joel worked as a floor layer for a decade before diving head first into his training to become a stunt performer.
He said: “I studied at Edge Hill University, which is near Liverpool, for a year but it wasn’t really for me so I went back to working with my dad laying floors.”
Joel’s mum Susan Conlan has seen her son progress over his three years working and training to become a stunt performer and says she is immensely proud of all he has achieved.
She said: “It’s not often you hear of a lad from Sheffield going off and making movies, I’m really proud of where he’s got to.”
Grimsby is out now in cinemas across the country.