Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk is recalling the time he was hired as David Spade’s stunt double in 1987’s Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, but it didn’t go as planned, all thanks to puberty.
During the latest episode of Spade’s Fly on the Wall podcast, which he co-hosts with Dana Carvey, Hawk revealed that he initially auditioned for a role in the movie, which follows a group of civilian volunteers who are hired to work alongside police officers to fight crime.
Though he didn’t land a lead role, he said the film’s team decided to hire him as a stand in for Spade during scenes with complex skate tricks and since they are both goofy-footed. The Saturday Night Live alum played Kyle in the movie, a skater who was put in the program as punishment for his crimes.
But once filming got underway, some time had passed since Hawk was initially hired, and during that period, the pro skateboarder said puberty also happened.
“I went through a growth spurt, from the time we tried out [for Police Academy 4] 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, like, ‘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, I was trying, and then they just quietly sent me home. Basically, I got fired.”
Spade said Hawk was replaced by skater Chris Miller, but since he wasn’t goofy-footed like Spade, it led to some continuity issues while filming. “They sent in Chris Miller who looks more like him [Spade] but he’s regular footed, so in the skate sequence, his stance keeps changing. It’s so crazy,” Hawk added.
The iconic skateboarder did end up making an appearance in the movie though. Spade recalled Peralta asking him if he could perform one of his own stunts for a specific scene that involved jumping several steps on a skateboard.
“I can do five steps seven out of 10 times,” the comedian quipped. “And then we go in and I do the first steps and I fuckin’ wipe out, and then everyone has to wipe out on top of me ’cause they’re all like two feet behind me. There’s no adjusting.”
Following the failed take, Peralta had Hawk step in to do the stunt, which the skater noted was “not nothing, but it was doable.”
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is credited as Spade’s debut feature film.