David Leitch

David Leitch

David Leitch, an acclaimed figure in the American entertainment industry, has made significant contributions as an actor, director, and stuntman. His notable achievements include scripting the movie “Confessions of an Action Star” and directing the adrenaline-fueled “John Wick” series. Leitch has been recognized with the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Awards on two occasions and has performed stunts for celebrated actors like Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme, which led to his receiving the Taurus World Stunt Award.

What we know about this person

Full name:

David Leitch

Date of birth:

February 7, 1970

Zodiac sign:

Aquarius

Birthplace:

Kohler, Wisconsin, USA

Age:

54

Citizenship:

USA

Marital status:

Married to Kelly McCormick

Height:

5' 11" (1.8 m)

Occupation:

actor, director, film producer, stuntman

Early life

Born into the quiet, provincial ambiance of Kohler, Wisconsin, on February 7, 1970, David’s early life was shaped by his father, a distinguished scientist, and his mother, who managed their household. His family’s frequent moves, driven by his father’s career, meant David often found it challenging to forge long-lasting friendships. Instead, he found kinship among children from less fortunate backgrounds, adopting the resilient and rugged ethos reminiscent of Texas, the “cowboy state.”

David’s formal education before his cinematic break was relatively modest, framed by his college experiences and the values instilled by his devout parents. The harmonious relationship of his parents, who ensured their disagreements were kept away from their children, instilled in David the concept of an ideal home—a sanctuary to return to, irrespective of life’s twists and turns. Despite this, David acknowledged that the monotony of everyday life sometimes pushed him back towards his “friends.”

The nomadic nature of his childhood left a lasting impression on David. He learned to internalize his vulnerabilities, yet he recognized that each relocation brought new beginnings and invaluable experiences: “Without change, stagnation prevents personal growth and progress. The rigorous ‘school of life’ forges resilience, paving the way to realize one’s divine purpose.”

David’s fascination with martial arts was ignited early on, captivated by the prowess of kung fu. The absence of martial arts schools in Kohler didn’t deter him; he voraciously consumed books and magazines on various fighting techniques, practicing them in his garage. Recognizing the limitations of self-study, he remained undeterred in his pursuit—eventually, his journey led him to the University of Minnesota, where he enrolled in Dan Inosanto’s academy, a disciple of Bruce Lee.

This endeavor transformed David into a proficient martial artist, mastering disciplines such as Thai boxing, shoot wrestling, traditional boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing. Armed with a degree in international relations and education, he aspired to open his martial arts school. Yet, destiny steered him in a different direction—during a martial arts competition, he crossed paths with Chad Stahelski, stunt double for Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) and Keanu Reeves, marking the beginning of his stunt career.

chad-stahelski-and-david-leitch

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch

Career

David Leitch, in his artistic journey, has unwaveringly focused on the exhilarating realms of action, thrillers, and crime dramas. His portfolio as an actor boasts participation in 35 films. Among his earliest contributions to the silver screen were appearances in “Walker, Texas Ranger” featuring Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard Jr., and “Charmed” starring Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs, among others.

Simultaneously with his acting roles, Leitch excelled in the demanding field of stunt work. His rigorous physical preparation and fearlessness afforded him the opportunity to serve as a stunt double for icons like Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme. His directorial debut with “Confessions of an Action Star” in 2009, a satirical take on the action genre, revealed his prowess as a creative writer.

In 2008, Leitch’s daring as a stunt performer was recognized with the Taurus World Stunt Award, a prestigious accolade celebrating excellence in stunt work globally. David, along with his peer Kai Martin, was celebrated for their breathtaking stunts performed at vertiginous heights. Leitch, in collaboration with Chad Stahelski, also played a pivotal role in choreographing the action sequences for “Ninja Assassin,” contributing significantly behind the scenes in the “John Wick” series without formal acknowledgment as a co-director.

2017 proved to be a banner year for Leitch as a director, with “Deadpool 2” and “Atomic Blonde” under his belt, the latter featuring Charlize Theron in a critically acclaimed performance. Following this, he directed “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” further solidifying his reputation in the action genre. Leitch and Stahelski also launched 87Eleven, a production company specializing in action design, showcasing their commitment to elevating action choreography in cinema. His directorial work on “Hobbs & Shaw” in 2019, a spin-off from the “Fast & Furious” saga, underscored his adeptness at navigating high-octane narratives.

David Leitch Movies and TV Shows

  • 2022

    Bullet Train

    Jeff Zufelt

  • 2019

    Hobbs & Shaw

    Helicopter Pilot

  • 2018

    Deadpool 2

    Cain Marko / Juggernaut

  • 2013

    Escape Plan

    Ship Captain / Senior Lieutenant

  • 2012

    The Bourne Legacy

    The Driver

  • 2010

    The Mechanic

    Sebastian

  • 2009

    Ninja Assassin

    Europol Door Guard

  • 2006

    V for Vendetta

    Convenience Store V

  • 1998–2006

    Charmed (episode “There’s Something About Leo”)

    Innocent

  • 1993–2001

    Walker, Texas Ranger (episode “Medieval Crimes”)

    Floyd Jessop

david-leitch-cameo-bullet-train

David Leitch's cameo in Bullet Train

David Leitch’s personal life and family

David Leitch is wedded. The tales of his romances on the film sets have often caught the media’s attention. Nevertheless, such gossip came to a halt when he tied the knot with Kelly McCormick in 2014, a producer renowned for her involvement in titles such as “Bullet Train,” “Deadpool 2,” “Nobody,” and “Poms.” The stunt performer has chosen not to have children, reasoning that one engaged in stunt work must not take unnecessary risks when others’ lives could be impacted. Leitch pursues athletic activities and practices transcendental meditation.

chad-stahelski-keanu-reeves-and-david-leitch-on-the-set-of-john-wick

Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves and David Leitch on the set of John Wick

David Leitch now

Renowned for his excellent sense of humor, which certainly colors his professional output, in 2019, Leitch took on the directorial helm for the comedic movie “Undying Love,” adapting the comic series by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman. Following that, in 2020, he was the producer for the drama “Nobody,” drawing from the real-life experiences of the main actor, Bob Odenkirk, with performances by Alexey Serebryakov, Connie Nielsen, and Christopher Lloyd as well.

His journey experienced a brief hiccup with the action movie “Fast and Loose” (2022), featuring Will Smith, which ultimately did not come to fruition, leading Leitch to depart from the project. Nonetheless, his subsequent project, the comedic action film “Bullet Train,” where he was both a primary director and writer, achieved significant success. He managed to assemble an elite cast for this venture, including Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Koji, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, and Bad Bunny. Also, David Leitch was engaged in talks to direct an upcoming Jurassic Park movie set for release on July 2, 2025, but exited the project due to disagreements over creative direction.

Published: March 22, 2024
Updated: April 17, 2024
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