Fans of extreme sports will love to see the stunts and tricks the Nitro Circus crew can pull off, and Travis Pastrana of Nitro Circus was able to speak to ShockYa about he and his crew’s new film, “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D.” Check out what he had to say about the film, the stunts, and what the Nitro Circus philosophy is below the post. “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D” comes to DVD and Blu-ray November 13.
I just saw “Nitro Circus” and it’s pretty incredible. The film talks a bit about how you and the crew got together, but what was the point in your life that made you say, “I want to do this for a living?”
Travis Pastrana: Well, you know what’s funny, I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was four years old. For me, I always wanted to try to be a racer, but at age nine and 10 years old, I was the only one who would go the long way around the track and jump the biggest jumps. I didn’t really care about getting to the finish line first, as much as I did about the biggest jump or doing something that no one else was doing. I’m very fortunate that the X Games [really did well for me]…[I] started getting really popular and was able to jump in the freestyle motocross and you started meeting more and more people that were just like you. As a kid, I didn’t think there were a lot of guys who were similar. But then you start meeting guys…who are very similar. And then we started doing Nitro Live and we have 36, 38 guys that are exactly the same–driven by competition and just want to have a good time with what they love.
Johnny Knoxville talked a lot about how the Jackass guys and Nitro Circus are within the same family, how fun it is to work with you guys, etc. How was it for you to work with Knoxville?
Travis Pastrana: It’s really funny. The Jackass guys are completely different, but completely the same. They are guys–and I don’t mean this negatively–but they don’t have a lot of talent, but they have a lot of passion. They’re like, “You know what, I want to be able to travel and hang out with my friends. I want to be able to not have a real job and keep [people] entertained.” And for us, Nitro Circus, we’re very much the same way, except we’re all athletes in other sports, and we do this just for fun to be able to travel with our friends and do stuff that we’d never have the chance to do without it. For us, to get together with those guys…we’re very fortunate to make a fun [show].”
One of the biggest tricks was the big wheel double flip and then you topped it with a big wheel jump across two buildings and jumps over the building with a regular bike. How great was it when you finally conquered it?
Travis Pastrana: It’s so funny, but for us, like, with the double back-flip, Rob Dyrdek pointed it out the best He’s like “Great, there’s only like, eight of you who actually ride these big wheels, you know, after you’re five years old! It’s no big deal!” But for us, to have all of these guys who come from so many disciplines, to try this one stunt and fail–we couldn’t put it all in the movie but we tried, for three years, to do this double flip and we thought we thought we had the takeoff right, we thought we had everything right, and every one of us got knocked out. Dusty [Dusty Wygle] broke his ankle, and he was like, “I’m doing this. I’ve got to figure out a way to do this,” and…the greatest part about what we do is that there’s no money on the line…it’s all about pride, to step up and do something because you feel it can be done, and that’s why we do it.
What is it like to perform live in Vegas?
Travis Pastrana: Since 2002, [the] MGM [Grand] has done a survey at the end of every event, and for Nitro Circus, the highest rated event that has been at the Grand since 2002 is such a great feeling. You know you’re passionate about it…but you don’t know [good] it’ll be, and when you put on a 4-hour show…and the stadium’s still packed a half-hour after the show, that’s a good feeling.
I think one of the best tricks in the Vegas portion is from Wheelz [Aaron Fotheringham], who is using his wheelchair like one of you guys would use their bike. What was it like seeing that stunt performed?
Travis Pastrana: The X Games and a lot of other events are all about being cool. Nitro Circus is all about being able to push yourselves…Wheelz had contacted us and said “You know, I really think I can fit in with your crew.” We get a lot [of people saying] “I want to be part of it,” but they really don’t. But this guy, we saw something in him. He was at skate parks all the time…and there’s something inside you that just–when there’s a guy in a wheelchair or a girl–and I don’t want to be sexist–but you don’t want to see them get hurt and you just look at them and you’re like, “Are you sure you can do it?” You kind of get conflicted, because you want to see them succeed. You want to see them do the best they can. And when you see someone so passionate, you have to give them a shot to do what they want to do…I never believed [Wheelz’ trick] was possible, and he never believed it was possible, but he always wanted it to be possible. For us to be around a lot of people like this but especially guys that, you know–were born with Spina bifida and doctor’s said, “You’ll never be able to do anything you want to do,” he was like, “I will because that’s my passion,” and that’s what Nitro Circus stands for.