Jean-Claude Van Damme Performs Epic Split in Volvo Advert [Video]

In the commercial, the Belgian thigh-master performs “the most epic of splits” between two golden Volvo trucks.

A lot of auto ads run a disclaimer that the stunt was performed by professionals and viewers shouldn’t try this at home. You’d definitely be wise to take that advice with regards to this ad Volvo Trucks featuring action star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The ad starts with a close-up of Van Damme’s best “I could die at any moment and I’m not the least bit fussed about it” face. As the camera zooms out, you see Van Damme settled carefully atop the side mirrors of two Volvo trucks as they glide gracefully backwards across a desert track. And as the voiceover rolls, the trucks slowly spread, pulling Mr. Van Damme into one of his iconic splits. The sun is rising over a deserted landscape. The sky is champagne colored and the music serene.

In the surreal video, which had tens of thousands of YouTube views within an hour of being released, Van Damme says: “What you see is a body crafted to perfection. A pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics. And a mindset to master the most epic of splits.”

Part of Volvo Trucks’ “Crazy Stunts With Our Trucks” promotional campaign, this effort was apparently the first time JCVD had attempted his trademark stretch between two semis moving in reverse — and for those who doubt, Volvo maintains there’s no computer-generated trickery or reverse filming underway.

“The Epic Split” – which was filmed in just one take – is the boldest film yet from Volvo Trucks, following previous stunts including World Champion slackliner Faith Dickey and Charlie the hamster.

“Compared with the previous Volvo Trucks’ films, which have a documentary style, we wanted to make something more poetic,” says Andreas Nilsson, the director behind OThe Epic Split’.

“The film is very clean and simple – there isn’t a lot of information and we just let the stunt illustrate what the trucks can do. It’s like a slow-moving, carefully choreographed moderndance.”

#TheEpicSplit is the sixth live test from Volvo Trucks. It follows on from previous viral hits which all showcase different outstanding features of the majestic vehicles.

Volvo Trucks is actually advertising its new Dynamic Steering System. This hybrid hydraulic-electric power steering system provides additional steering force as well as ironing out the feel to reduce the number of corrections the driver needs to make.  The idea is to reduce the workload of drivers and offer them more precise steering, both chronic problems for long haul trucker, says Digital Trends.

Prior to filming, the production team rehearsed for three days, as the final version had to be completed within a 15 minute window when the morning light was just right.

“When I saw the storyboard, I thought it looked amazing. It’s very majestic and very powerful.” said The Muscles from Brussels’ on set at a deserted airfield in Spain, before shooting the scene.

Per Nilsson, Director Public Relations at Volvo Trucks added: “Not only is ‘The Epic Split’ visually spectacular and exciting to watch, it’s also the perfect illustration of the unique capabilities of the new Volvo FM, reports the Daily Star.

This isn’t the first time Volvo Trucks has used a crazy stunt to advertise its vehicles. The company’s president Claes Nilsson recently appeared in another video, standing on a truck as it was suspended over Gothenburg harbour in Sweden. That clip, called “The Hook”, was designed to showcase the strength of the truck’s front towing hook.

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