Jason William Day is a Stuntman and former MMA fighter who competed in the UFC before moving into the film industry. He has just wrapped a big feature film called “Skyscraper” for Universal Pictures starring famed wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

When he is not working in the entertainment industry, the Canadian-born Jason enjoys hanging out with his wife and newborn baby boys. In a recent and exclusive interview, Jason spoke about his stuntman career and experiences--especially what it was like working with superstar “The Rock.”

Stunts, acting, and 'The Rock'

Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you discover your physical strength and how did that lead you into sports such as wrestling?

Jason William Day (JWD): I guess I never thought about my physical strength. I grew up on a farm, and we would toss bails and pick rocks to clear the fields as a kid, so I guess physical strength just came naturally. I was never really "lifting weights" strong, but I had that weird farm kid strength. I didn't touch weights much until I became a doorman at a local bar and started lifting with all the guys. Some of the guys were into Jiu Jitsu so I tried it out and I would get tapped out by little guys. At that point, I jumped all in with BJJ and switched up my training, which eventually led to my fight career.

MM: What prompted you to become a stuntman and what are some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on?

JWD: After my fight career ended I was a little lost in life, fighting was all I grew to know after a while. I had moved to Vancouver with my wife, and I was teaching martial arts when a friend of mine, Dan Rizzuto, helped me get my foot in the door of the stunt world, and I immediately fell in love with the job. One taste of the stunt world and I was hooked.

It gave me a chance to use the skills and movement I had developed over the years as a fighter, and I got to satisfy that adrenaline rush that was missing in my life. Vancouver is such a hot-spot for film and television right now it is hard to pick just a few memorable projects--but acting is a lot of fun. For me it’s more about the people I get to work with that is memorable, when you go on a long run on a show, you become family with the team around you.

MM: What sorts of sports have you done and were any dauntingly extreme?

JWD: Growing up I played all kinds of sports, surprisingly none of which were contact-oriented. I played basketball and volleyball through junior high and high school, but baseball was my first true love. I played ball from the age of nine until I was eighteen and I still dream about playing in the big leagues to this day. When I took up BJJ at the age of twenty, it transitioned into MMA, and I ended up with over forty fights by the time I stepped away from the sport. It never seemed dauntingly extreme to me, but everyone around me thought; otherwise, I suppose, I'm not sure any mom ever wished their son grew up to be a professional fighter.

MM: Do you stick to physical stunts or can you also do stunts in cars, etc.?

JWD: You have to be quite versatile in the stunt world if you want to make a career out of it. Fighting helped get my foot in the door, but it was more the reaction and timing that I learned from fighting than the actual fight skills themselves that helped me out. I stick to physical stunts myself, a lot of guys love driving stunts, but I am happy to let them get behind the wheel. I have a lot of respect for the precision drivers in our industry; it takes a lot of years of practice to earn those stripes. I'm a bigger guy so I don't get to do a lot of wire work either, but I do enjoy the times that I get to do a little flying on a wire.

MM: You gained popularity after Dwayne Johnson—“The Rock”—shared a photo of you putting him in a headlock on social media. What was it like working with Dwayne and were you surprised by people’s sudden interest in you?

JWD: Working with Dwayne was a memorable experience for sure. He is pretty much what you would expect if you follow him on social media; always positive and willing to put in the work. My wife and I had twins while we were filming and he always showed a genuine interest in how everyone was doing, you can tell he's a family man. I wouldn't say I was surprised by the interest in me after he posted the photo, it was more the kind words he shared with the post that surprised me. I know he takes his social media very seriously so for him to post that photo and those words meant a lot to me.

My following definitely grew after that picture went up!

Roles, movies, and forthcoming projects

MM: What kind of role or stunt would you most like to take on?

JWD: I have always dreamed of being an action hero. I grew up watching Schwarzenegger and Stallone Movies as a kid and acted out those scenarios with my brother on the farm. I would love to get to make my own movies with all my friends. I think that's the dream, is to be able to bring your buddies along and have fun making a career doing what we love. Lately, I have been having fun playing the bad guy too. It's a challenge to take myself to that side of the spectrum, but I have been embracing it. Getting to work with Roland Moller has had an influence on me in that realm, he is such a menacing villain, and he has fun with it.

MM: What have been the most memorable comments and/or fabulous bits of feedback that you’ve gotten to date?

JWD: Well, obviously Dwayne's comments on his Instagram tops the list right now. It was a pat on the back that I will be grateful for a long time. Roland Moller left a comment on my page when I re-posted that picture, he said "game recognize game, " and that stuck with me. He's a man who doesn't mince words so to have his respect as well means a lot. I think comments that struck a cord too were from people I have known for most of my life leaving comments that they are happy for my success and to see hard work paying off. I like to pride myself on my ability to put my head down and work hard, it was ingrained in me from an early age and to have people recognize that feels good.

MM: Are you currently working on any exciting projects and what else might you like to mention?

JWD: I have a few exciting projects in the works right now but I can't say anything about them yet, plus I don't want to jinx them. It's crazy, but a few doors are opening for me already from that one post from Dwayne. Social media is a powerful force in today's industry. Hopefully, I will be able to make a couple of big announcements about upcoming projects in the next few months. Right now, I am excited to take a little time off to spend with my new twin boys and just soak in the new experience of becoming a father.