Robson Green has revealed how he had to overcome his acrophobia for the new series of Strike Back.
The 50-year-old actor reprises his role as Lieutenant Colonel Philippe Locke, a former SAS-operative, in Sky 1′s white-knuckle action drama, which returns for its fifth and final series on June 3.
Robson admitted: “I’m not good with heights. I love flying – I wanted to be a pilot before I was an actor, believe it or not. But stuff on tall buildings overlooking the edge, which we’ve done a few of those, I do get horrendous vertigo. That is really tough for me.”
He had to get over his fear for a stunt, where he had to hang out of a helicopter.
“The most dangerous stunt I had to do was to hang out of a hawk helicopter at night firing a grenade launcher at the enemy whilst trying to rescue Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Stonebridge (Philip Winchester)… when you pull them out under fire,” the actor added.
“And that was pretty hairy in a very, very enclosed space, going into an inhabited square with people firing at you and explosions going off. We were very, very close, it was really on the edge. But what a blast. What a blast, it was terrific.”
Robson – also known for his fishing programmes – threw himself into getting into shape for the show, which was delayed due to Sullivan’s off-set injury.
“Preparation for Strike Back was everything for me. I’m over 50 – I know I don’t look a day over 35 – and had I attempted what was requested in the script and not trained, it would have been a physical impossibility,” he said.
“So me and this wonderful human being called Adam Shepherd, my personal trainer, just got me physically and mentally prepared for the task ahead. It’s probably the first time in my 30-year career that I really focused on becoming physically and mentally fit for a part.
“You have to be, because you’ll be sorely found out if you don’t put in the prep physically. Luckily for me they asked me to do quite a few stunts. A lot of running and jumping, and jumping with explosions, hanging out of helicopters, it’s just great.”
Michelle Yeoh makes her small-screen debut on Strike Back: Legacy, alongside Tim McInnerny and Max Beesley.
“I get to fight with Michelle Yeoh. She’s the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and I’m more your kneeling hamster, crawling gerbil guy,” Robson joked.
The star continued: “It is the fifth and final series of Strike Back. It is an action TV show like no other in the history of television.
“You’ve got to remind yourself that these are action movies for television. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, any more thrilling, any more explosive, any more dramatic, any more emotional, any more awesome, it does and it’s the truth.”
Robson added: “What’s unique about the finale is that it is very much about the relationships and personal feelings about themselves and what they’re doing, and what they represent and their self worth.
“You can expect a very gripping journey. Of course, it’s going to be explosive, but the relationships win in this series and everybody in the main cast has a personal journey that somehow they feel they need to complete.”
Strike Back: Legacy begins on Sky 1 on June 3.