Philip Winchester discusses the intensity of shooting “Strike Back” series

Philip Winchester shares details on starring in the second season of the Cinemax action drama “Strike Back.”
BY MELISSA HAYER mhayer@opubco.com Published: August 13, 2012
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While doing virtually all of your own stunts is exciting, it comes with a price. Winchester recounted a story about an up-close-and-personal experience with a grenade when he and Stapleton were filming a chase scene on a rooftop.

“When that grenade went off, Sully and I are supposed to peek in the door and then pull out, then the special effects guy was to push the trigger and the bomb went off. Well, he did everything absolutely right, the timing was absolutely on,” Winchester said.

“But what happened was because we're on the rooftop of this building, there was this kind of wind vortex, and there was this wall of wind kind of swirling around us and the fire ball came out and hit that wind wall and it came right back against Sully and I and smashed us against the wall, and I burned the whole right side of my body and Sully burned the whole left side of his body.

“We looked at each other after the take, our hair was smoldering and our clothes were on fire ... and I just looked at the special effects guy, and I went, ‘Hey, bud, that was a little close, you know.'”

The role of Stonebridge is so intense that after Winchester had been home for about a month after filming the first season, his wife, Megan, told him it was nice to have her husband back, having felt like she had been living with “Stonebridge” for seven months.

Winchester is well aware playing such a strong role is much different from carrying out the job in real life.

“I know it's all fake and I know it's all ... we're playing soldiers, so for the life of me, I don't know how these guys do it for real, and how they walk away from that with any integrity at all, but they do. We see it all the time,” Winchester said.

“And it just goes to show the training that they do, and the type of men and women that are working in our armed service. They're incredible people, and my heart goes out to them. I take my hat off to them every day, 'cause what we're doing is just pretend, and these guys do it for real. It's incredible.”