Tony Hawk explains why he was fired as David Spade’s stunt double in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.
Before Tony Hawk was a household name with his own skateboard company, video game franchise, and more, he signed on to serve as David Spade’s stunt double in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time on the project as he was fired for growing a little too quickly.
While appearing on David Spade’s Fly on the Wall podcast (h/t EW), Tony Hawk discussed his time on Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and how he came to be booted from the movie. “I went through a growth spurt, from the time we tried out [for the movie] to the time we got there, and so for the first week, they were like, ‘I think that guy is too tall,’” Hawk said. “And I remember the director saying ‘y’know, he’s a pretty good skater but he’s a bad stunt double!’ and so then Stacy [Peralta, second unit director for skateboarding] kept telling me like ‘Stay low. Stay low!’ And I go… I was trying, and then they just quietly sent me home. Basically, I got fired.“
Tony Hawk is said to be 6’3″ while David Spade’s height has been reported at 5’5″ — quite the difference. Although Hawk was replaced by another actor as Spade’s double, he did still appear in the movie to perform a trick Spade couldn’t quite pull off. The actor had to jump five steps and thought he could do it himself without the aid of a stunt double. “I can do five steps seven out of 10 times,” Spade said. “Then we go in and I do the first steps and I f—in’ wipe out, and then everyone has to wipe out on top of me ’cause they’re all like 2 feet behind me…there’s no adjusting.” Hawk said that the experience taught him something about stunt work that came in handy when it was time to score a few extra bucks. “What we learned in that shoot is we learned about stunt bumps,” Hawk explained. “And we didn’t know anything about that. So if we pretended like something was really hard, they would give us extra money.“
Flash forward fifteen years later and Hollywood was courting Tony Hawk to star in one of the potential Space Jam sequels, Skate Jam.