Tough guy rubs shoulders with stars

Stunt man: Martin Shenton with Hugh Jackman and others in Les Miserables.
Stunt man: Martin Shenton with Hugh Jackman and others in Les Miserables.
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A Lancashire stunt man is wowing audiences across the globe as part of Hollywood blockbuster Les Misérables.

Martin Shenton, from Morecambe, is in the opening sequence of the film alongside megastars including Hugh Jackman.

Stuntman Martin Shenton

Stuntman Martin Shenton

But the fame hasn’t gone to the head of down-to-earth Martin, who hasn’t even seen the film yet.

He said: “You sort of get used to it and I have been really busy lately. I’ll see it when it comes out on DVD!”

Martin’s previous credits include movies War Horse and Tomorrow Never Dies, television adverts, and ITV soap Coronation Street.

The film’s grand beginning was shot last March in Portsmouth Docks and involved Shenton doing some singing, something that he doesn’t usually have to do in his stunt work.

He said: “We did the rope pulling at start of the film where we pull a big ship in.

“I was doing the high stuff at the back and we were the cannon fodder really. We did the dangerous stuff.

“We also do the co-ordinating and organising, the safety parts.

“I have done some other big productions but I knew Les Mis was going to be big because of the budget they were working with. “We all had to learn this song and then we sang it live to make it sound authentic.

“It’s fair to say it’s not something I’m used to doing!”

Martin worked with 400 other extras for the scenes.

He said: “It was a great experience. Thankfully it was a lovely, warm day and we were in the water getting wet through. It was a bit chilly.

“It was really good working with everyone, though. There was some good banter.”

Martin also got to rub shoulders with X Man star Hugh Jackman, but without even knowing it.

He said: “I was walking back from getting some food when someone called over to ask if I could do some publicity shots as I was still dressed up.

“As we were going a man said ‘Thanks, guys’. I didn’t even 
realise until after that it was Hugh Jackman. He looked really different.”

The Oscar-nominated Les Misérables also stars Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.

Alongside his stunt roles, Martin also owns Regent Park Studios in Morecambe and is the creator of a zombie-themed game.

He has previously appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in an attempt to secure £210,000 of investment for the business, which he hoped to expand nationwide.

The tough guy took two monsters into the den to try to secure the cash from the dragons to expand his Blue, Green, Yellow, DEAD! games, which opened at his extreme sports centre in 2011.

Gameplayers, armed with paintballing guns, have to escape a maze while being chased by animatronic monsters. He is now working on using the concept from the game to create a movie.