Tanner Foust on \'The Bourne Legacy\', driving in Manila and Top Gear USA

Somebody wants a drift jeepney
by Patrick Everett Tadeo | Feb 14, 2012


As you may already know, race and stunt car driver and Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust is in the Philippines. Apparently, he\'s here doing some stunt car works for The Bourne Legacy and despite his hectic shooting schedule, he has spent some of his free time off-camera checking out the local car scene and doing some promotional work for Rockstar Energy Drink, Foust\'s official racing sponsor.

We managed to get around 10 minutes of his precious time here and he was kind enough to share his experiences with jeepneys, the stunt work he\'s doing for the film and what we can expect in the third season of Top Gear USA.

We were very surprised when we found on your website that you flew in to Manila. How did you find yourself in the Philippines?

\"I was lucky enough to work with Dan Bradley in The Bourne Ultimatum and he\'s the second unit director here, which basically means he directs some of the stunts in the film. We\'ve worked in a lot of other films like The Dukes of Hazard, some of the Fast and Furious films. I\'m basically here to drive. Some of the stunt guys can light themselves on fire, have a martial arts battle on top of a building and then jump off it. But it\'s difficult for stunt guys to really develop an auto racing technique. It\'s a specialty and it\'s expensive when you crash a car so I\'m lucky enough to get to crash cars all the time. I don\'t think I can get into anything specific about the stunts we\'re doing but obviously, being shot in Manila, there\'s a lot of chaos. There\'s this chase sequence that is epic for sure and I\'m really excited to see how Dan will put all of this together and how it comes on screen.\"

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What can you say about the local drivers you\'ve worked with?

\"We haven\'t had so many sequences where we\'ve had to use a lot of the local drivers at one time. If there\'s any skill that the local drivers have, it\'s to deal with motorcycles and scooters coming up between the lanes. This is absolute second nature for Manila drivers, this kind of chaos, but this is interesting because that\'s the scene we\'re trying to create and I think that\'s what driving in Manila is all about; it\'s chaos so there\'s no acting or skill required.\"

How do you find Manila traffic?

\"The real Manila traffic is pure insanity. The most exciting thing we do everyday is the drive home in the van. I drove on the streets a little bit and it\'s very much like driving on a bike path except you\'re in a car. Everyone occupies the space. If you didn\'t have a horn, I don\'t know if you could drive here because no one would know you\'re there and they\'ll just drive right in front of you. The incredible thing is that there aren\'t dents or scratches on almost every car. How they\'re not bumping into each other is amazing.\"

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How about the jeepneys? What are your impressions of it?

\"The jeepney is like the fastest car out there; I\'ve driven a couple of jeepneys now and they\'ve got some power compared to a lot of things on the road. And they get uncomfortable at around 40kph. I\'ve also driven the Corvette-powered jeepney but I didn\'t get to drift it, though. I really, really wanted to but somebody else did the driving for that. I\'ve been taking a lot of photos of jeepneys, developing somewhat of a chronicle of jeepneys because they\'re all different, they\'re all so incredibly unique. I would love to take one home and put in a big powerful V8 and make a drift jeepney. That would be so awesome. Interestingly though, we\'ve been jumping in and out of many people\'s privately owned cars in this film as stunt drivers. We just knock on the window and they (the car owners) have no problem with you driving their car; that\'s everybody except the jeepney drivers. It\'s like they\'re lending you their wife. They\'re so unique but they\'re also unique to that person. It\'s funny to watch the look on their faces when somebody else is driving their jeepneys.\"

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Could the jeepney ever appear on Top Gear USA?

\"Rutledge (Wood), my co-host, would absolutely fall in love with it. He would become the protective jeepney owner driver. He\'d scream at anybody who tried to drive it; if someone ground the gear, he\'ll go completely crazy because he would want to keep it after the show, for sure. Yeah, it would fit in well with our show actually because it\'s over the top. I\'m a car person in the US and I\'ve never, ever, ever seen a jeepney so it would be a new thing for our market.\"

What can we expect in the next season for Top Gear USA?

\"The new season starts on February 14 and in it I get to drive the Noble M600 in England, we discover what America\'s dangerous and worst cars are. It\'s kind of weird that we\'re a car show but we\'re spending time on like the world\'s most danger cars. For that, I turned a Suzuki Samurai into a Weeble Wobble. There are a lot more shows this season where it\'s just the three of us together just having a good time.\"

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