Last week, I had the chance to speak with big-screen star Kellan Lutz about his hosting gig on the new FOX reality show, Bullseye. I’ve loved Kellan in everything I’ve seen him in, and it was awesome to talk to him and learn how nice a guy he seems to be in real life. Bullseye, which has contestants doing exciting stunts for a chance to win up to $50,000, is perfect for Kellan, and he explains why below. Check out what he had to say…
On what attracted him to the show
Kellan Lutz: Everything. I am an adventure, risk taking junkie at heart, and I just live for action movies. That’s why I do a plethora of action movies. I just love driving fast cars, shooting guns, doing fight scenes, and layering that with crazy stunts like Expendables 3, where I got to ride my motorcycle up eight stories. So, any time I can do something that really makes me push my comfort zone to the max, that’s what real life living is to me.
When Jon Kroll, an amazing producer, brought this to my attention, I saw this as a rule that he had. And I was just floored that they could get a way, production value of making these stunts, because a lot of the stunts that he showed me excelled way past any stunts I’ve ever done in my movies. So, being a part of the show, I wanted to be on the show and I said, “When can I do the stunts?” And he was like, “Well, we’d like you to host it because we know this is right up your alley.” And I’d never hosted before, so I took a little bit of time and I thought about it, and it made sense because how I look at my career is I want to do stuff that I’m passionate about, stuff that just is me, is Kellan.
And hosting a show like this, it just seems right. It seems right up my alley. I’d be really excited every day with every new stunt. And I’m a people person, so I just love encouraging other people to step outside of their comfort zone and push their limits, and really live life the way that I love living, so the show’s very organic for myself.
And also asking them, and the studio, Fox and Endemol if I’d be able to participate and partake in some of the stunts, they were hesitant at first, but they knew that that was the deciding factor for me. I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else have fun. So, they agreed and we’re off to the races.
This whole project has been such an amazing experience, and I love every day on set. There’s always amazing contestants, and there’s always a new stunt that Scott Larsen creates, and the whole company creates. And the crew’s worked together on Wipeout and Fear Factor before, so I really stepped into a great family unit and they welcomed me with open arms. Then I get to do it with Godfrey [from The Godfrey Complex] who has us cracking up on set. So, the energy on set is just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Jump with me to read more from Kellan!
On what made this different from other things he’s done
Kellan: When you’re acting you usually have lines, and you know what you’re saying or what the scenes are about. When you’re fighting you have choreography, so you know when to punch, or when to shoot the gun, and when to hit the brakes so you don’t crash, or fall off a cliff. Hosting, it’s very ad lib and very organic, so it’s great to have a co-star like Godfrey, like I said, who’s a comedian by nature, and he just pulls tons of stuff out of his little rabbit hat.
For me, I love talking to people. I love encouraging them to do these stunts. It’s a place where I can be me, a place where audiences and the contestants can see my excitement for these stunts, and also my science background and physics background with knowing how to describe the stunts.
Also, I’m not supposed to give advice, so I don’t give advice, but afterward most contestants would ask me, “How would you do this?” “Would you do this?” And then I get my little nerdy science background out and talk about velocity, speed, and trajectory, and really break it down scientifically how I might go about doing it. But at the end of the day, you’ve just got to have instinct, and strategy, and a lot of good hand-eye contact, and reaction speed.
On the most fun or interesting stunts he’s seen so far
Kellan: Every single one is. It doesn’t matter if we have a helicopter, or a train, or a boat, each and every one is something out of a kid’s drawing book. That’s how I feel like. I feel like I used to draw these and make crazy little stunts on my pad of paper, but you can never really turn them into a reality due to budget, right? As a kid you’d always want to do these things, you were kind of fearless, and Scott Larsen and everyone that’s a part of Bullseye, now we get to make those dreams a reality.
So, the stunts that really stick out to me, one’s called the Corkscrew. This one we lift our contestants up to about 30 feet up in the air, we start spinning them as they’re dangling from this crane like a tire swing, as one would when they’re on a playground, you just spin them until they either fly off or throw up, none of that happens on our set, but you let go of the rope and they start swinging.
And slowly they’re lowered down to a very thin balance beam, and as soon as they land on the balance beam they’re supposed to collect their bearings and just walk, balance themselves, towards one end of the beam, unlatch a bullseye, a small target, and walk all the way to the other end of the beam, roughly 15 feet, 20 feet, and put on the giant bullseye. Now, they’re supposed to do this three times.
And the funny thing about it is, as soon as they touch down the time starts. Once their toes touch the balance beam everyone, they look like they’re Bambi, or they look like they’re just wasted, like they had just drank, and they would shake. They would just sit there trying to catch their bearings while dangling on this balance beam that’s 100 feet up in the air over a cliff. And they would just freeze and shake like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
And some of the contestants would fall off, but they wouldn’t plummet to their death. This is a very safe, safe show. But they would fall about three feet where they then would have to grab this rope ladder and maneuver themselves on this net back to the big bullseye, climb back up, and start from the very beginning.
You’d never see that coming. Again, you would expect them to be a little dizzy, but not to the extent that they were. One contestant lost his shoes. He kicked one off, and then kicked the other one off and did it with his socks on. Another one fell off. Another one had to get down to his hands and knees to make it. It was just very intense.
I get to stand there in reality, which was 30 feet away, feeling like I was right next to them doing the stunt. You have that “Oh no” moment when they slip off and fall, and then they catch themselves and bring themselves back up. But then also that one was a timed stunt, so you want them to go as fast as they can. And you’re just like, “Oh, you have to hurry. You have to hurry and then do it.” And then we get to give away $50,000 to whoever wins that.
Another fun one was, we have contestants running on top of an old school train that’s going about 40 miles an hour down the track. And trains are already shaky when you’re inside, well, try riding on top of one and also be racing against the clock. So, you’re having these contestants, again, not really knowing how to keep their balance and engage their core, jumping from car to car, going down ladders, ripping off bullseyes, and climbing back up the cars.
Then for the final one they have to run onto the engine part of the car and jump about five feet off the front of the engine while it’s driving straight to grab a bonus bullseye. If they get the bonus bullseye that will take away 30 seconds on their clock, so they jump without any fear, or with fear, or whatever encourages them to do that, and then they smack dab right into the center of the bullseye that’s on the front of the engine, because they’re on a little leash system. So, they get the wind knocked out of them, but it’s like, well, are you going to risk it for the 30 seconds off your clock? Of course, because there’s $50,000 on the line.
Another one, our contestants are scaling a 35-story building on the outside and they have to rappel down, use their momentum, much like Mission Impossible, or Tom Cruise would do, to pull themselves on these thin, finger-tipped panels to swing themselves to get these bullseyes.
And our contestants aren’t all fearless. They aren’t all adventure-seeking daredevils. Two of them during that stunt had issues of heights, vertigo, but of course they’d push themselves to do it because they wanted to beat that fear and of course they wanted the $50,000.
Then another fun one was our dune buggy rollover, which it’s just a little car that they’ve rigged up so as soon as you accelerate, you have to brake hard, the whole car flips. It does a full 360. And if you land close to the center of the bullseye, you potentially move on to the next round.
And then we do stuff on the water as well, where they have to jump from semi to semi as the semis are careening down this airfield. And slowly the semis separate, so the distance and due to fatigue make it harder and harder to jump from semi to semi. And then we have somewhere they have to jump from a semi to a floating bullseye in the water 30 feet below while being blasted by water cannons.
We just add so much to the show that no one could ever replicate this in their normal life, or a normal ride. So, each and every one is so different, but so exciting in their own way.
On how much people will get to know him as a person
Kellan: Yes, yes, tenfold. For me, you do these roles as an actor, and especially Twilight, Emmett wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He was the protector of the family. Then I’m seen with shirt off in a lot of other movies, so maybe people see me as a dimwitted, beefhead, which I can play those roles, I’m glad that they’re believable, but I also have some brains to me and I do a lot of science and math stuff, especially with my inventions in my normal life.
But being a part of the show, we have fans that are contestants, and they’re still fannish. I’ll have guys and girls jump on me and give me a giant bear hug, and say, “Oh, my God, it’s a dream come true.” It warms my heart. And I get to be personable, just chat with these people from every walk of life, 70-year-olds, high schoolers, single moms, war veterans, people currently in the military, and I just get to be me, so if they have a question. I hang out with the cast, I ask them on and off camera about themselves, what they would do with the money, how living in LA is. I get to know them in a personal way.
I’ve always been that way, just growing up with a large family, being a middle child, and my mom was a great mother, and really instilled those qualities in me. And I just love people, so being a part of a show where we constantly have a new gathering of contestants that I get to talk to, and they ask me fun questions, and I get to talk to them about the science behind these stunts afterwards, and give them my point of view of how I would do it. Then we joke around all the time. We have Godfrey on set, and he and I we get to poke at each other, and we’re a good little duo. And just being around the cast as well, it’s just a really great time on set.
I think the audience will see that I am just a guy who loves driving fast cars, and flying through the air, and lighting stuff on fire. I’m a guy from the Midwest, so I’m personable, and we have a lot of time to showcase that. And it’s just me being me. And it really comes through transparently.
And now, my questions…
Jenny: You mentioned a few contestants, but were there any who were really memorable, and if so, why?
Kellan: Brent will always forever be memorable because this guy, he’s 70 years old. And on the show he could do the splits. I’m like, “Hey, so what do you like to do?” He was like, “Oh, I’ll show you,” and just jumps down in the middle and does the splits. I can’t even do the splits. I’m like what the heck. Then he had the most amazing, beautiful energy I’ve ever seen. And I just pray that when I’m 70 that I can look like him, have the energy like he does. He rides a unicycle, juggles while he does it. He even then lifted his shirt and said he could massage his colon, and we’re like “What? Where are you from?” And he was the best. He lost. I want to be friends with him. He was just such a positive energy anywhere he goes. He was just really, really special.
Who else was there? This guy named Chris who works with, I believe the charity’s called Happy Humans, he and I connected a lot via our charities and all the good stuff that he’s doing. So, we’re going to collaborate together and make some T-shirts and help support each other on that. There’s so many. Rodney was awesome, some of these guys, Tasha, the ones that really surprised me are the ones who are gamers, because my little brother, Tanner, he loves playing games, he’s 17 and plays games. The gamers that we have on the show, they have been beating out our athletes. Because a lot of these stunts take strategy, versus just brute strength to complete them the best way.
Jenny: What’s next for you? Do you have any projects in the works?
Kellan: Yes, it’s great to be a part of this show, and shoot in LA, and sleep in my bed, but I am getting the itch to act and become a character again and shoot in a random part of the world, because I love to travel.
So, next up for me I get to collaborate again with one of my most favorite directors that I’ve worked with, Steven C. Miller. We had just shot Extraction with Bruce Willis, and we’re teaming up again to shoot The Feud. And The Feud is going to go, I think we’re shooting in Michigan somewhere in July, so that’s a really great rendition, revenge movie, kind of in the vein of The Raid, but taking place in a barn in, it’s supposed to be Iowa, but I think we’re now doing it in Michigan.
So, a lot of fun action work for me. I’ve got this thriller, I can’t really name the name right now, that I’m going to be doing in the Hamptons all of June, so that’s coming up. So, there’s that one. Then I’m really excited for another action movie based on the book called Sandstorm by Alan L. Lee, and that’s going to be shooting for three months in Germany, in Cologne, Berlin, and Munich, and then another week in Costa Rica, I believe. I’m really excited about that one. That book is an awesome book. He’s already writing the sequel, so I’m pumped. I would love to have my own action franchise trilogy to do myself. That would be a dream role.
Then on the side I’m working on my inventions, and just continue to make upgrades to the Blackout Bands, and have the [indiscernible] coming out, the Whip Weight, and then designing the clothing line, Abbot and Main. So, I stay busy.
Thanks again to Kellan for taking the time to chat with us. Look for the series premiere of Bullseye tonight on FOX at 9/8c.