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Shane Taylor rolls with punches of 'Strike Back'


October 13, 2012|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

And there was the Sully rib, or the Stapleton rib as I nicknamed it. That was an injury by degree. He was right in saying I didn't really mention anything initially because it was just something that actually happened while we were being trained at the gym. Then I did something else to it when Sully and I were rehearsing in the gym on another occasion. Actually, at that point the medic said, “I need you to come to the hospital and get an X-ray.” Nothing showed on the X-ray, but they mentioned it being the intercostal muscles might be damaged there, which can be more painful than a fracture.

They said, “You need a bit of time off.” I said, “Well, I haven't got any time off. I’ve got to fight tomorrow.”

It's just it's one of those things. I just had these Victorian-type corsets. [Laughs.] I had everything you could possibly put on to be able to do this fight. It was just a random shoulder. We were going at it. We were doing everything that we could to sort of avoid that certain area. The choreography was orchestrated in a way that I wasn't going to get any damage on the left-hand side. It was just Sully's shoulder, me against the pipe on the wall I think, and a random shoulder that went in there. It was audible. It just went [makes snapping sound]. And that was that.

We got through the fight—painkillers—but then it was straight to the hospital. It was kind of like a little hairline fracture. From that moment on the schedules kind of changed so the big fight sequence with Phil was right at the back end of the shoot, and I could be fairly fit for it.

Come the time, it wasn't bad. It wasn't completely healed, but it was enough to be able to get up and move around and throw a few punches and kicks and whatever. We just had to be gentle. Then the irony was that he bladed me in the eye and I was just injured all over again, but in an entirely different area. [Laughs.] There you go.

That's the way Sully and Phil treat their guests. What can I say? [Laughs.]

It was great fun to do. Like I say, those boys and Michelle as well, the regulars, I know what they do on a daily basis. I know how they train. Of course, I was part of that when I was there. I have profound respect for doing that because it's an intense thing to do. You go and shoot stuff, and then you come away from the shoot, and you go back to training. It's constant. I think Sully had his “300” trainers there as well. On top of the “Strike Back” stuff, you have to then go and do that, which is just insane.

Your rib was almost OK by the time you did the Phil fight for the finale.
Yeah, as much as it could be. Even then there was a moment where Phil and I got in a tussle on the floor. We rolled a certain way. He literally lept off me because heard this kind of crack again, but it wasn't anything. I could continue. ... Phil is very good. Phil is very sort of specific with what he does. He is very controlled. I did trust him as well.

It looks really good.
OK, all right. Well thank you. I can't really remember too much about it. [Laughs.] By the end of it I couldn’t see him. My eye was throbbing. My ribs were in pain. I needed to flop on him. [Laughs.] “Just kill me. Let’s get it done.” I don't think I got up. I couldn't get up in fact. Once I was on the ground, people had to come and get me. It was one of those.

When you heard about the part, did you like the idea of exploring this guy who becomes so consumed by his anger?
Arguably the go-to thing is that this guy is just a mad, bad, crazy man, but for me there isn't much difference between Stonebridge and Scott and Hanson. They’re damaged goods. They're damaged men; they're damaged soldiers. It's just manifested into them in different ways.

I think I have to look where Hanson has come from. I think every one of them believes in the righteousness of their actions. That may be slightly worse if you look at Hanson and his overall way of doing things. He doesn't set out to be the mustachio-twirling evil guy. There is a reason. There is a motivation. I had to look for that when I was doing it.

I know it comes out quite late in the series in small little amounts, but tough, working-class background with his brother, obviously soldiering is in the family. Jake wasn't a soldier, however, and that was pretty obvious now. I had to make a decision about how much did Hanson know about Jake's pill-popping fragility? I would probably say not much, but did he know he was vulnerable? Yes. Did he know that he really wasn't cut out to be a soldier? Yes. Could that stuff then force him into being something that he wasn't? No.

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