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Article: High Flyer

High Flyer

High Flyer

Filming high-flying action scenes has changed since Memphis Belle, the last big production to feature B-17 Flying Fortresses, was released in 1992. Then, real aircraft were used, and real pilots flew them. But as Ben Radcliffe (pictured here wearing Richard James) explains to Avenue magazine, it was all very different for Apple TVs new Masters of the Air series, with the planes remaining on the ground surrounded by LED screens. “You’d look out the window, and not only is the plane moving, but you’re looking at enemy fighter jets coming toward you and seeing the flack explode," says Radcliffe. "It’s like I don’t even have to act. I feel like I’m in the plane. It’s crazy.”

The Spielberg and Hanks-produced Masters of the Air is based on a true story, and Radcliffe plays Captain John D. Brady (pictured, below), who was an actual airman in the 100th Bombardment Group. "“Everything we did as part of the prep was trying to be as specific as we could to honor those heroes, even down to the accents… the specifics of where everyone was from,” he says. “Mine was upstate New York. This story is incredible. It’s unfathomable, what these men went through.”

Masters of the Air

Read Avenue's interview with Ben Radcliffe here, and see Masters of the Air on Apple TV+ now. 

Ben Radcliffe

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