Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'FUBAR' takes lessons from 'Rust' shooting incident as gun safety takes center stage
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Arnold Schwarzenegger is making waves with his latest project for the Netflix action comedy 'FUBAR,' that released on May 25. Schwarzenegger takes on the role of Luke Brunner, a CIA agent on the brink of retirement, who discovers that his daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), is also involved in the world of espionage.
While the film showcases the familiar gunfire and explosive action sequences, there's a notable difference behind the scenes, the use of rubber guns instead of real firearms. Recent tragedies on film sets, such as the death of Brandon Lee during the production of 'The Crow' and the fatal on-set 'Rust' shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins have prompted the industry to adopt stricter safety measures and reevaluate the use of real guns in movies.
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Schwarzenegger, however, expresses skepticism toward some of the current safety regulations, emphasizing that safety has always been a priority in his classic action films. In an interview, Schwarzenegger dismisses the notion of excessive safety precautions, stating, "It's all nonsense. The fact of the matter is that there were always safety precautions in place. But you can have all the laws and all the regulations in place, and if people don't follow them, you have nothing," he told Yahoo.
He reflects on his experiences filming movies like 'True Lies' explaining the extensive safety protocols that were followed, including thorough weapon checks and rehearsals. According to Schwarzenegger, these measures were akin to attending a school, ensuring the utmost safety on set. While older action films like 'The Terminator' and 'True Lies' often used practical guns firing blank rounds, the industry has seen a shift in recent years. Although, productions increasingly rely on rubber guns or Airsoft pellet guns, approved by directors like Chad Stahelski of 'John Wick' fame and actors like Dwayne Johnson.
'We used the whole gamut of different gun'
'FUBAR' initially employed rubber weapons and Airsoft guns, but it was discovered that these alternatives posed challenges for post-production tracking. As a result, the film returned to traditional practices, prioritizing gun safety and utilizing the highest standards. "We used make-believe guns when there were stunts involved where people got hit with the gun or if we were far enough away from each other," Schwarzenegger claimed. "We used the whole gamut of different guns, because with close-ups you can tell the real stuff from the fake stuff."
'This guy's obviously done this before!'
Gabriel Luna, who plays the antagonist Boro in the series explains the transition back to practical guns, noting the importance of maintaining realism in gunfights for the sake of the scenes. "We quickly realized that it was giving the post-production crew difficulty trying to track the gun fights," Luna explains. "That needs to be there for the reality of the scene. So we started with the more modern ways of doing things, but eventually reverted back to the tried and true practices always utilizing the highest levels of gun safety. By the end of the shoot, he's walking in with a shotgun having pulled it out of a package of roses and is blasting it off. I'm looking at him do this, and he's not blinking at all. I was just like, 'This guy's obviously done this before.'"
Barbaro, Schwarzenegger's onscreen daughter in 'FUBAR,' also cherishes the experience of working alongside the iconic actor. For Barbaro, the role allowed her to showcase her acting skills beyond her previous role in 'Top Gun: Maverick.' "We were in jets throughout Top Gun, which wasn't easy, but this had the added challenge of learning something new every week," the actress says. "One week I'd be parkour-ing off of a car and the next I'd be crawling on top of a train! We also had an incredible stunt team and everybody was intensely safety-minded, which is part of the magic of actors doing their own stunts."