It was almost exactly two years ago that Brian Holden got the call of a lifetime.
A student at the University of Colorado-Denver, Holden picked up his phone in February 2012 and received an out-or-the-ordinary request from his cousin, skateboarder Corey Lucero.
"Would you want to fly to Iceland and work as a longboard stunt double in a Ben Stiller movie?"
Holden (right) was interested, but there was the not-so-minor issue of missing class.
"'Well I can’t miss out on school,'" Holden told his cousin. "And he was like, 'No, it's going to be in November, seven months from now.' And I was like, 'Oh OK, yeah, I can probably do that."
Holden has been skateboarding for more than 20 years and longboarding for 10, and he's competed as a pro longboarder across the world. Still, he had his work cut out for him between February and August of 2012, when he was due on set in Iceland for the filming of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
To double as Ben Stiller he had to lose 20 pounds, dropping from 165 to 145. That meant cutting carbs, hitting the gym three or four times a week and eating salads daily.
After successfully losing the weight, the pressure was not off Holden. Upon arriving in Iceland he had to teach Stiller how to longboard.
"I was really not that worried about it," Holden told ThePostGame of his task. "And then we were rolling into the first skate lesson and my boss leans over and is like, ‘Alright, actors get really into this stuff. You can’t let him get too ahead of himself because if he rolls an ankle or gets hurt or anything, and he’s not able to act, this entire movie is canned and that’s all on you.'"
Fortunately for Holden, Stiller was a natural. The 48-year-old Stiller relied on his experience skateboarding around New York City as a kid in the 1970s.
After just two lessons with Holden, Stiller was able to reach speeds of around 35 miles per hour, no small task for someone who had never longboarded before.
“That was kind of a relief,” Holden said of Stiller’s quick learning.
Holden appears in the movie, which chronicles a daydreamer (Stiller) escaping from his mundane everyday life, for about a minute or two. See behind-the-scenes footage at the 2:00 mark of the clip below:
It's Holden's first appearance in a movie, and he says if Hollywood came calling again he would “definitely not say no."
First thing's first, however. Holden is finishing up his degree in marketing with plans to graduate in May.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Sean Penn, is in theaters nationwide. For more information about the movie and to find a theater near you, see here.
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