By Emily Wilson
Posted to YouTube just two days ago, the Volvo ad featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving Volvo trucks already has more than 9 million views. It’s a beautiful ad, and the stunt is incredibly impressive, but is it real? According to this article in The Wall Street Journal, it’s real but wasn’t particularly dangerous – or at least not nearly as dangerous as it appears.
The article quotes Volvo Trucks’ Public Relations Manager Anders Vilhelmsson, who said: “The stunt is real and is performed in just one take. It’s a daring stunt but we had full control. There was never any real danger involved.” The article continues: “Van Damme, 53, was hooked to safety lines that aren’t visible in the film, and each foot is on a small platform that was built on the trucks’ side mirrors. Van Damme’s feet aren’t secured to the mirrors, video director Andreas Nilsson said, “but we had him rigged so that if he would fall off he wouldn’t die obviously. We didn’t want to be responsible for killing the Muscles from Brussels.”
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