Rick English

How superhero stunt double Rick tackles anxiety and career-threatening injuries

With the release of ‘The Fall Guy’ in cinemas worldwide, performer Rick English has spoken about his near 20-year career taking the fall for some of Hollywood’s best and brightest.   


Appearing in over 150 films, Rick has taken on stunt duties for Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson (Batman), Colin Firth (Kingsman/Bridget Jones), and Brad Pitt (World War Z).


A career standing in for cinema’s biggest stars can take a toll both physically and mentally, and Rick credits his careers longevity to his use of CBD, which he seeks to educate others about through his advocacy work with Savage Cabbage.


“Obviously, I'm always dealing with a lot of injuries and a lot of recovery issues - if I'm not working, I'm out either training on the motorcycles, in the car, in the gym, in the boxing gym, fighting, riding, driving, and keeping up skills,” the stunt performer said.


“There are almost no days off and it's important to try and maximise recovery and reduce inflammation as much as possible.


“I found CBD was really effective in trying to cut down the recovery time for both injuries and post-training inflammation because I have to keep my body in sort of tip top condition and anytime it's not, then I'm compromising and potentially missing out on jobs or not doing them to the best of my ability.


In fact, the benefits of CBD really came to light following a very bad injury.


“It's very rare you get away completely unscathed from crashing a motorcycle,” Rick shared in a very unfazed way.


“It'll usually be something like a little bit of road rash or a minor injury, but every now and again the bike will bite you and catch you out a little bit.


“I was testing a bike last year on a movie and it just lost traction at the front. The bike went down, and it literally snapped my leg to the side in an instant.


“My leg just went out at 45 degrees at the bottom, and I knew straight away that I'd either broken my femur, or the ligaments in my knee were done, because it made a big pop, and it bent the way that it's not supposed to bend.


“Luckily, it was just a ligament and I managed to rehab it, use a brace, and continued working.


“CBD was an essential part in securing a speedy recovery and reducing inflammation, I feel like my recovery is much quicker when I'm using CBD compared to before I started.”


But Rick feels CBD helps him more than just physically, as it plays a huge role in his mental health.


“CBD is great for helping me deal with anxiety and stress as being a stunt performer is an incredibly stressful job. Anytime I'm about to do a stunt, I'm always trying to control the anxiety of it,” Rick revealed.


“I'm never worried about getting injured, I just worry about everything going right and that I’m going to give the crew what they want and that everyone will be pleased with the outcome.


“So, for that for me, that's what will keep me up at night for a week worrying before I do a stunt – even after spending 20 odd years in the industry.


“CBD in the morning, or before bed, can really help with that. It helps with anxiety and helps me to just switch off a bit when I want to sleep.


Rick Recalled one stunt in particular, that really affected his anxiety. He was taking part in a high-speed bike chase in Mission Impossible 5 and was tasked with crashing the bike right next to Tom Cruise. He said CBD allowed him to calm his nerves and perform flawlessly.


“I'm riding just at the back of him, and we wanted something a little bit different from a standard kind of lay down the motorcycle and throw it down the road and slide along kind of thing,” Rick reminisced.


“We’d been watching some motorcycle racing the week before and one of the riders had a massive high side, which is where the bike throws you over the top and onto the floor, and we were like, we should try and emulate something like that.


“It was one of those stunts where I just wanted everything to go right, because I've got to make sure that I hit my mark and turn at the right time, and then also don't fire the bike into Tom Cruise!!


“I remember talking about it a month beforehand, and then we went out and we shot the rest of the chase and everything, but all the time it's there in my diary that this is the day that we're that we're doing this huge stunt.


“CBD really helped me deal with the stress; it became a part of my morning ritual as it helps with anxiety that I feel in the morning about what what's coming up later that day, week, month or year.”