Stunt performing in television and film is a skill very few actors are willing (or able) to take on themselves. One such actor is Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Frank Grillo, as he has become known for taking on the challenge himself, given his pension for action films. But there was one particularly scary stunt that he had to perform in the Captain America sequel that required a bit of a push from his badass co-star, Scarlett Johansson.
Frank Grillo has spent the past decade putting his well-maintained physique to use in countless action and sci-fi films. He became both loved and hated as Brock Rumlow (a.k.a. Crossbones) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his debut in The Winter Soldier. In his first MCU appearance, the actor was seen performing some mind-blowing stunts, it turns out Grillo actually wasn't down for a night stunt. As he recently recalled to Collider, Scarlett Johansson, being the cool person that she is, provided him with a bit of motivation:
We were doing Cap 2, Winter Soldier, and we were out in Long Beach on an aircraft carrier. So however, many stories above sea level the boat is… it’s like 150 feet up, right? There was a crane on the deck which was another 150 feet up, so you’re probably 300 feet up from the water. And basically what we had to do was clip into the crane, and they dropped us so that it looked like we were flying onto the boat. And I wasn’t gonna do it. I said, 'I’m not doing that! Let my guy do it, I’m not doing it.' And Scarlett Johansson said, 'Well I’m doing it!' So, she went and did it, and then I had to do it. (laughs) I think in the movie I fly in behind her. And she didn’t, but I had shit in my pants, because I was that afraid. And it was pitch black! It was nighttime.
If it wasn’t for Scarlett Johannsson's badass, Frank Grillo might not have had the heart taken part in one of Winter Soldier’s best scenes. So it's a good thing the actress helped set the tone on set in that way. And ultimately, Grillo would leave a serious mark on The Winter Soldier, as he emerged as one of the standouts. This would lead the character to be brought back for a role in Captain America: Civil War and a cameo in Avengers: Endgame.
It's interesting that some on as experienced with stunts as Frank Grillo needed a push from Scarlett Johannsson to help overcome some trepidation, especially considering that he went through grueling training ahead of filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Nevertheless, it just goes to show that any of us can experience fear in certain situations.
If you're now looking to relive Frank Grillo and Scarlet Johansson's amazing stunts, you can stream Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Disney+.