Big screen thrills capture Oak Bay grad

Stunt man and actor Jason Bell climbs aboard the starship Enterprise in this summer’s Star Trek blockbuster.

See Oak Bay-raised stunt man and actor Jason Bell in the new Star Trek movie

See Oak Bay-raised stunt man and actor Jason Bell in the new Star Trek movie

While Jason Bell’s sci-fi inclinations leaned more to Star Wars than Star Trek as a kid growing up in Oak Bay, wearing the famed red shirt aboard the bridge of the Enterprise in the summer blockbuster Star Trek Beyond was a huge thrill.

The stunt man and actor appears as Captain James T. Kirk’s right-hand man and first security officer in the famed franchise.

“It was pretty amazing to do the fitting for the iconic red shirt, let alone set foot on the Enterprise. It was very surreal my first day on set. The whole cast was hanging out and joking around and here I am containing my inner giddiness,” Bell says.

“It was a very humbling and exciting experience for me to be a small part of that massive universe, knowing that this franchise has been such a huge part of people’s lives around the world for decades.”

Growing up in Oak Bay, Bell attended Monterey elementary and Oak Bay High and was active in karate, ice hockey and soccer. Aspiring for a time to play soccer professionally, “I never thought about being involved in film until much later,” he says.

Even as an adult, his path to the big screen was anything but straight.

Post-secondary studies included immersing himself in Spanish language and culture while at college in Mexico City. He also earned a diploma in business and tourism, followed by work at the Fairmont Empress and  airmont Vancouver, in addition to time as an activities director in South Carolina.

“I did have a blast with those jobs but eventually I knew I would move on,” he says.

Bell also served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan as a communications specialist with his reserve unit. Venturing overseas a month before his unit, “I did everything from TOC (tactical operation command) duties, guard duty and mounted patrols through Kandahar City. I’m glad things happened the way they did because I got exposed to a wide array of experiences over there.”

He calls on his military background in his film work. “Most of the time we have guns on set and knowing how to handle them safely is a big plus. During my time on Godzilla, I was in a group of six guys and the military adviser asked if anyone had a military background. All the boys pointed at me, so from that point on I was the guy that would assist the guys when we needed to do something ‘tactical.’”

Based in Vancouver, Bell’s television credits include Smallville, Supernatural, Fear the Walking Dead, The Killing and Once Upon A Time. Most recently Bell can been seen on CW’s Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash. His Muay Thai, parkour and martial arts skills have also landed him work in action films The A-Team, Man of Steel, X- Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in some pretty cool movies, but I think my most memorable one was working as ‘Trask’s Guard’ in X-Men: Days of Future Past. I got to work closely with Jennifer Lawrence and had a pretty cool fight scene with her character, Mystique. I had a great time on that set in Montreal and I thought the movie turned out amazing.

Fear the Walking Dead was also just one of those jobs you show up to and you know it’s going to be a riot. I was one of the ‘stunt zombies’ and I actually had to audition as they were very specific on the movement. I ended up being part of this massive scene where we swarm an army base and all hell breaks loose. I was sad to see the show move production to Mexico.”

And on his theatrical bucket list?

Star Wars. Most definitely Star Wars. I’d literally take any role in one of those movies. There’s still hope!”

Purely a stunt guy when he started in the business – “someone who gets knocked around or even doubles the actor” –  Bell is flexing his acting chops more and more. “I do get thrown into roles or audition for roles that call for me to throw out a line or two … I’ve put more time and focus on my stunt career but am now slowly getting more into the acting side,” he says.

His Oak Bay roots help keep him grounded, says Bell, who hadn’t considered a film career while growing up on the corner of Victoria and Granite.

With his parents still living in the area, “I try to visit as much as I can as I definitely miss my buddies and all the nostalgic memories that go with the place,” Bell says.

“I’ve travelled all over Canada for work and am now pushing to work stateside. Having Victoria as my home always gives me the feeling of having a safe haven. A place where you can turn the phone off, hit up Willows Beach and go grab a burger at The Galley,” he says.

“I couldn’t ask for a cooler job, so I’m going to continue this ride and gain as much experience as I can along the way,” Bell says.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to get into producing and writing one day. There is a physical shelf-life for doing stunts, so it’s always good to look to the future for other endeavours I’d like to invest my time in.”

He encourages others with similar interests to pursue their passions.

“For any aspiring actors or stunt folk, even if you’re coming from a small-ish place like Victoria, there’s tons of opportunity out there so don’t feel limited on what you think you can achieve.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Saanich council approves of a five-story multi-family development at 300 Gorge Road West and 2900 Tillicum Road. (Rendering via Alan Lowe Architect Inc.)
Saanich approves five-storey, mixed-use development for Tillicum area

Plans include 53 residential units, three commercial units at Tillicum Road, Gorge Road West

Coun. Niall Paltiel of Central Saanich has filed a notice of motion directing staff to work with the WSANEC leadership council to develop a program leading toward the “gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names for key collector and arterial roads”(Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich councillor wants road signs to use WSANEC names

Coun. Niall Paltiel proposes ‘gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names’ for key roads

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny business

Amy McLaughlin has rescued over 400 bunnies across the Island, mainland

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s first case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read