In the mesmerizing realm of television and film, while actors often bask in the limelight, it’s the stunt teams that courageously breathe life into heart-stopping action sequences. Their relentless dedication and unparalleled skill often go unnoticed, yet they are the unsung heroes who make the impossible seem real. Jan Petrina, the Stunt Coordinator for Prime Video’s most highly acclaimed series, The Wheel of Time, offers a rare glimpse into this world, revealing the intricacies of his profession and the collective spirit of those behind the scenes.
The Unseen Effort in Stunt Work
When asked about aspects of his work that often go unnoticed, Jan emphasized the importance of preparation and teamwork. He shed light on the collective effort that goes into executing a single stunt, highlighting the roles of those who often remain behind the curtains.
“I think it’s more about the preparation and about how hard you’re supposed to work. It’s not about how good of a stuntman you are, but how we contribute to the whole team. There’s a lot of people that are actually a part of that big stunt that they never get the appreciation for. It’s not only about the glorious big stunts, but it’s about everybody else in the team.”-Jan Petrina, Season 2 Stunt Coordinator-
Reflecting on his personal experiences as a stunt performer, Jan shared his fondness for portraying characters with superpowers, particularly those from the Marvel universe. His passion for his craft shines through as he recalls the thrill of embodying iconic superheroes.
“Well, I think, kind of Avengers beings and pieces like Captain America and Guardian Galaxy. I enjoy all of that because a lot of it was still kind of real. Even though they have powers, they’re still human, and they fall down and get hurt the same way. I enjoy them because then you can actually show your skills, and I feel a little bit for that moment that I am the superhero.”-Jan Petrina, Season 2 Stunt Coordinator-
Jan Petrina’s insights offer a fresh perspective on the world of stunts, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, preparation, and the joy of embodying superheroes. As viewers, we often get lost in the magic of the screen, but it’s essential to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of professionals like Jan who make those moments possible.
Wheel of Time Season 2 is now streaming exclusively on Prime Video with new episodes every Friday.
About Wheel of Time
Release: Season 2 Premiere September 1, 2023
Developer: Rafe Judkins
Executive Producers: Rafe Judkins, Larry Mondragon, Rick Selvage, Ted Field, Mike Weber, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe, Justine Juel Gillmer, Sanaa Hamri, Amanda Kate Shuman
Production: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Distribution: Prime Video
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Josha Stradowski, Zoë Robins, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Dónal Finn, Ceara Coveney
Based on the best-selling Robert Jordan fantasy series The Wheel of Time, a humble farm boy, Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski, Gran Turismo), learns he is The Dragon Reborn—a dangerous figure from history destined to save the world … or break it. Desperate to protect him from the Dark One, an army of powerful sorceresses must reckon with his burgeoning power and encroaching madness.
The Wheel of Time turns, and the Last Battle approaches. Though Rand thought he destroyed the Dark One, evil is not gone from the world. In Season Two, threats new and very old seek out the young friends from the Two Rivers, now scattered over the world. The woman who found and guided them is now powerless to help, and so they must find other sources of strength. In each other, or themselves. In the Light … or the Dark.
What are your favorite stunt sequences from The Wheel of Time? How do you feel about the portrayal of superheroes in action sequences? Are there other behind-the-scenes roles you’re curious about? Let us know your thoughts on social media!