Moroccan stuntman Faycal Attougui on his work with Tom Cruise: “ he is really passionate ”
There is three movie franchises that each The stunt professional aims to work during his career, says Faycal Attougui: “Star wars, Impossible mission and James Bond. »And the Moroccan waterfalls the coordinator is on track to cross the second of those on his list.
Attougui was part of the team behind the 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and although he hasn’t worked on a James Bond project yet, he’s currently filming Mission: impossible 7 in the UK, continuing a fight against Tom Cruise that started the empty neighborhood in Abu Dhabi.
When the movie hits cinemas next summer, it will be easy to spot Attougui among the band of horsemen who chase Cruise through the vast desert. It is the only one not to wear a turban, mask or sunglasses.
“There were 11 of chasing us Cruising through the desert on horseback, ”recalls Attougui. “We were in line in front of the director [Christopher McQuarrie] to show our costumes, when he stopped in front of me and said I should keep my face bare. I was then chosen to fight against Tom [Cruise]. “
The film crew has finished filming in Abu Dhabi in February, when Attougui, along with the rest of the cast and crew, traveled to the UK to continue production. “We do street fights,” he says.
Attougui, who has over two decades of experience and has worked on several big budget productions, including Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Start and the 2016 film Assassin’s Creed, with Michael Fassbender, says Cruise is one of the most dedicated actors he has work with.
“He’s really passionate. He knows exactly what he’s doing, in terms of stunts and everything. You can tell he’s making the movie with a passion, and having close contact with him and fighting him like that, I’m so proud. Thousands of stuntmen dream of fighting Tom Cruise. I am so lucky. “
When movies come here to shoot from different parts of the world, they bring their own stuntman. [crew]. We want to change that
Hind Al Basti, film producer
Attougui won the motocross championship in Morocco twice in a row, in 1997 and 1998, before deciding to continue. a career in stunts. He was only 16 when he had the opportunity to escape in 1998 Jean-Film by Claude Van Damme Legionnaire and he has since has amassed an eclectic set of stunt skills that have made him a Hollywood favorite.
However, he is now bring its know-how and experience to the United Arab Emirates, help promote and train stunt coordinators country and region.
Attougui is one of the talents represented by Dubai-based company The Management of stunt services, founded by Emirati film producer Hind Al Basti. His goal is to build a community of stunt professionals in the Region. “When films come here to shoot from different parts of the world, they usually bring their own stunts. [crew]», Says Al Basti. “We want to change that.”
The Abu Dhabi tax reduction incentive, which attracts many foreign productions to the emirate, may prove to be an advantage. These are often necessary to hire local creations in order to benefit from the tax reduction.
“It’s something that could strengthen our profile”, says Al Basti, who worked on several projects in America, Europe and the United Arab Emirates, including the 2016 psychological short thriller Evelyn.
The idea of launching a The stunt services management company came to Al Basti while working on an Emirati production last year. “He had more than 25 stunts [people], most of whom came from Morocco. I thought that not only did they have a lot of experience in the business, but they also spoke the language, so why not open a company to represent them? “
Al Basti then met Attougui and drew up a business strategy, detailing the the company’s trajectory for the next decade and establishing a plan to train local athletes to perform waterfalls. The company was officially launched in August and had its first commission in a project that has yet to be disclosed by Freej creator Mohammed Saeed Harib.
Al Basti currently represents Attougui, as well as Attougui brothers, Mohamed and Aziz, more a few more, but she says she’s looking to bring more locals on board.
“I don’t mean to say that I work exclusively with Arab talent, but I am adamant about hiring as many Arabs as possible,” she said. “This is one of the reasons why I created the company, to give exposure to Arab waterfalls [professionals] like Faycal because most of the time people tend to think only of westerners have experience like that.”
Al Basti says the company has already received several applications from local and regional athletes interested in pursuing a career in stunts. however, Al Basti and Attougui agree that not everyone is cut out for work in industry.
“To be good stunts [person], you must have it in your character. You can train for years and never be good. You have to know your body. You must have great reflexes. You need to know what to do in the event of a fall.
“Some people do a little fall and get destroyed and some fall down the stairs and get up and say, ‘I’m fine’. It’s all a matter of reflex.
Over the years, Attougui’s ability recognize who has this innate ability to perform stunts and that did not improve. It’s a skill that will help him build a reliable team for the Management of stunt services.
“The vision is to start training people here so that we have enough manpower to start a stunt school,” says Al Basti. “The challenge is first of all to be consistent in our presence and to hold jobs at local, regional and international level. We want to develop step by step. We want to train people in different departments and increase the number of stunts [professionals] in the country and possibly in the region.
Hopefully by the time the opportunity to work on a James Bond production arises, Al Basti and Attougui will have a whole team ready to take on this mission.