If it’s not enough that Cambridge Resident Randy Butcher goes into work expecting to be shot, thrown off a building or set on fire; he takes delight in bringing his children along and having them participate.
“That’s where I blew up my daughters Randi-Lee and Kristyn,” he tells me gleefully as he points at a picture.
I met him and his wife Rhonda at Coffee Culture in Downtown Galt after chasing him for a year for an interview.
I knew Butcher was the stunt coordinator for “Flashpoint,” the television drama which recently ended after a successful five year run, but Flashpoint is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the list of credentials that Butcher has on his resume.
His resume lists over 100 projects he has participated in as stunt coordinator, actor, writer, producer and director, and not low budget or “YouTube specials.” X-Men, Relic Hunter, Blues Brothers 2000, and one of my favorites, Dawn of the Dead, are among the projects he has participated in.
Moviemaking is a family affair for The Butchers. His wife Rhonda also did stunts, but gave it because of back problems and opened her own talent agency.
All of their children have also appeared in various projects, and their daughter Kristyn was stunt double for Flashpoint star Amy Jo Johnson (Jules). All of his children also appeared on the Television series “The Firm” with him.
He would have kept the entire interview on his children had I not placated him with the promise of a separate feature on them. (Watch for it in an upcoming issue of The Citizen)
Turning back to the father, the patriarch of this clan of daredevils, he was well aware of my affinity for zombies after reading about The Cambridge Zombiewalk in The Citizen, When he told me he was in The Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead he had my rapt attention. His face was featured on one of the posters for the movie, and he showed me a picture that a woman had sent him of his zombified face tattooed on her back.
In the film he plays several zombies, including Jay Leno getting shot in the head. (Google “YouTube Dawn of the Dead Jay Leno” to see the “shot,” pun intended)
Butcher tells me he often doesn’t watch the end product, “for me it’s not about the end product, it’s about going to work.”
“When I do a stunt, say I light myself on fire, that’s what the day consists of.” He tells me, “It’s the excitement of that, not how they cut it up and put it into a movie.”
I asked him about accidents and he laughed. “Too many to count,” and he rhymes off a list of various injuries. He recounts one incident from the movie Timeline when he was attacking a castle wall as fire was poured down. “I lost most of the skin on my face and my nose. I wiped the skin of my nose and threw it on the ground.” “Part of the job.” He shrugs.
He is also an accomplished Martial Artist, a passion of his since he was a child. Although he’s still into martial arts, he tells me “Not anywhere near as hard as I could or should”.
It doesn’t look like he’s going to get any extra time in the near future. The end of Flashpoint does not mean Butcher is on the unemployment line, in fact, quite the opposite..
He has signed for the second season “Cracked,” a new series that premieres on CBC January 8th. The series stars David Sutcliffe as a police officer who transfers from the SWAT team to the psychiatric crime unit after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and Stefanie von Pfetten as a psychiatrist working with the crime unit.
He is also doing the third season of “Bomb Girls,” (the Second Season Premiers on Global January 2nd) Bomb Girls profiles the stories of four women working in a Canadian munitions factory inWorld War II.
He is producing a movie he wrote, is a member of the director’s guild.
He is also waiting for confirmation for another film that’s going to be shooting in the Middle East in Jordan for 5 weeks.
If that isn’t enough, he was just offered a movie in Montréal that’s 2/3 animation He describes it as “Avatar meets 300.”
Don’t bother looking for his face on a screen near you. “As a stunt performer you hope you don’t see yourself in a television series because then you can’t do more than one episode in a season.” Guys that just want to get their face in there, I can’t hire them again that year.”
“It seem lot of pain and effort for little recognition.” I tell him.
He smiles. “All in a Day’s work.”