Terry Schappert was basically born to host “Hollywood Weapons” on the Outdoor Channel.
As a former Green Beret with over 24 years of military experience, Schappert has an intimate knowledge of the weapons, explosives and war-time scenarios that most of us have only seen on the big screen — and now, he’s ready to show viewers where fact meets fiction.
The show’s producer, acclaimed actor Joe Mantegna, describes “Hollwood Weapons” as “’Mythbusters on steroids,” and he’s not exaggerating. Each week, Schappert and his team recreate the most explosively over-the-top scenes from blockbuster films and TV, all to answer one question: Can that really be done?
“There’s always scenes in different films, where someone shoots a gun or uses a weapon, and you think, ‘Alright, can you do really that?’” explains Schappert. “So we get into these different movies, and we see if these things can or cannot be done.”
The upcoming season of “Hollywood Weapons” puts several of Schappert’s favorite scenes to the test, including the scuba-tank sniper shot from “Jaws,” the glass-shattering stunt from “Die Hard,” and the infamous noose scene from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
“We had all these different kinds of shots against hangman’s ropes, with the period guns you saw in the film,” says Schappert. “To get to use those weapons and to play the role of Clint Eastwood in those scenes, it was so much fun.”
Surprisingly, there’s also no shortage of silliness on set — especially between Schappert and the show’s armory expert Larry Zanoff.
“Larry is like the adult in the room, and I’m like the 10-year-old kicking his shins, going, ‘Hey, cmon! Let’s try this!’” laughs Schappert.
That’s not to say the two aren’t taking their jobs seriously. In fact, Schappert says his training with the Green Berets lends itself to these kinds of experiments.
“The last five years I was in the Green Berets, I was in charge of training,” says Schappert. “Training has got to be realistic, or else it’s not worth doing. We were constantly looking at risk assessment … We do (“Hollwood Weapons”) very safely, too," says Schappert.
“Obviously, when you’re shooting or blowing stuff up, there’s inherent risk, but we really pay careful attention to that.”
And when a stunt doesn’t play out exactly as it does in the movies? Schappert says he and his crew aren’t bummed.
“The goal is never to debunk the movie, and go, ‘Oh, this is BS.’” says Schappert. “What I hope ‘Hollywood Weapons’ does, honestly, is pay homage to these movies.”
“I always make it a point to say, ‘Maybe I couldn’t do that, but Bruce Willis as John McClane in “Die Hard” might’ve been able to.’ So I don’t think it’ll take the mystique away at all. I hope it doesn’t. I think it’ll increase people’s appreciation of the special effects guys.”
Schappert also tells Fox News he's raring to recreate just about any stunt Hollywood can throw at him — even the famous frying-pan-to-the-face gag from “Tom & Jerry.”
“We haven’t tested any cartoons out,” Shappert says thoughtfully. "But that? That might be kinda fun … I’m game for it.”
Schappert’s new series “Hollywood Weapons” airs Mondays on Outdoor Channel at 9 p.m. EST. Catch replays of the debut episode on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST and Sunday at 12 a.m. EST.