Yeah, I’m all right,” says Bobby Waldron in his best southern accent. Though unscripted, those words are an exciting occurrence for Waldron—as a stuntman, he doesn’t often get lines in a television series. Hopefully they will make the cut, and you can hear him deliver the line by watching the season finale of The Outsiders on WGN America on Tuesday, April 19 at 9 p.m.
Like a combination between Alaska: The Last Frontier and Sons of Anarchy, The Outsiders tells the fictional story of a large family, The Ferrell clan, living off the grid and on the margins of society in modern-day Kentucky. The plot is driven by the conflict between the Ferrells and a coal company that moved into the area to mine underneath the Ferrell land, which they have inhabited for hundreds of years.
The show is filmed in and around Pittsburgh, with woods scenes filmed in the Henry Kaufmann Family Park in Monroeville, town scenes in Millvale and indoor scenes on soundstages in the Strip District.
Waldron is a fitness expert and stuntman who has worked with many of Hollywood’s elite to help them prepare for stage combat, live performances or to generally just stay in shape. He moved to Florida Avenue last summer with his fiancée, Mt. Lebanon graduate Lindsay Zappala (’99) with the intention of settling down here to start a family and work on local productions.
Zappala works in casting, and she and Waldron worked together on Cinemax’s Banshee before they both took on The Outsiders. “Being here has been a little bit better as far as exposure to the stunt world,” says Waldron, who has lived in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and New York City. “There aren’t a lot of stunt guys out here.”
The Outsiders debuted on January 26, and Waldron put in roughly one week of work for his appearances in the last two episodes.
“I play a cop named Bobby, which was very nice of them,” says Waldron. “My character is a police officer, and there is this scene in the final episode where I am at the head of a police team charging up a mountain. On my way up, I trip and fall, rolling back down, and that’s where my line comes.” Yeah. He’s all right.
Actor Thomas M. Wright, who plays Sheriff Wade Houghton (the main cop), is a Method actor, which means he takes different steps in an attempt to actually become the character and experience what the character is feeling. Prior to filming the scene, Wright ran in place for several minutes before taking the trek up the mountain with Waldron and the rest of the crew, so that he would actually be winded when he reached the top. Then, when Waldron’s character took a fall, Wright stopped and said, “I feel like my character would ask if he’s OK,” which is how Waldron received his unscripted line.
Waldron’s other stuntman jobs on television include motorcycle stunts on Sons of Anarchy and assault rifle stunts on Banshee, which was filmed in Vandergrift. He has also performed stunts in movies such as Die Hard with a Vengeance, Six Degrees of Separation and Devils Rejects.
A Hunter College graduate with a degree in physical education, Waldron describes his stuntman activities as more of a passion than a career. His career began at Crunch Fitness in New York City, where he was a personal trainer and acted as a spokesperson for the company, which often involved appearing in commercials and performing demonstrations on talk shows. He then began work at the corporate level, consulting in gym and clothing line design and fitness directing.
Waldron helped to open gyms all over the country in his 12 years with Crunch. He was helping to run the Crunch club in Los Angeles when he began training high-end clients, specifically one talent manager who often referred his talent to Waldron.
“I worked with Orlando Bloom for a while. I actually built a gym for him for Pirates of the Caribbean,” says Waldron, “I wound up training him exclusively with some of the other people in the show. I had experience with sword play, so he and I worked on sword fighting, which got me into the stunt world.”
“Stunt came naturally to me as an athlete,” says Waldron, a high school and college wrestler. He joined SAG/AFTRA and earned various stunt and driving certifications. He continued to train celebrities, including Milla Jovovich, Winona Ryder, Carlos Mencia and Billy Joe Armstrong, who he helped train for Green Day’s American Idiot tour.
Waldron is a personal trainer for Tedesco Body Shop in Murrysville and is hoping he will be invited back to participate in The Outsiders, which was renewed for a second season.
“Shows are more likely to be renewed if people are watching, so Pittsburghers definitely should watch The Outsiders to support the local community. It is actually very entertaining. I would watch it even if I weren’t involved.”
In addition to stunt work, Waldron, a personal trainer, has worked with Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich, among others.