Ex-Hollywood stuntman stranded in NAIA complex

Posted at 07/24/12 2:52 PM

Former Hollywood stunt man David Bryant poses with an Internet photo of his son, Todd, who is also a stunt man. The elder Bryant has been staying around the airport complex for the past two months. Photo by Raoul Esperas

MANILA, Philippines – Life imitates art for a former Hollywood stunt man who found himself stranded in an airport complex for more than two months.

But the case of 74-year-old David Bryant of Greenwich, London is far different from Viktor Navorski, the character played by Tom Hanks in the memorable 2004 movie, “Terminal.”

Unlike Navorski, who was trapped inside New York’s JFK airport where he took up temporary residence when he found himself without a country, Bryant has been straying around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex since his arrival on May 3.

Bryant claimed that he was staying in a a nearby hotel until he was allegedly robbed while waiting for a taxi.

He said he was forced out of his rented hotel room when he failed to settle his bill and started to live on the streets surrounding the airport. He said he sleeps on the sidewalk, using cardboard boxes he gathered from nearby establishments.

His predicament worsened when street children allegedly took his bag containing his passport, whatever cash he had left and even his slippers.

With no money, clothes and a passport, Bryant is literally begging around the airport complex for the past two months.

He said he sought the help of the British embassy and also the American embassy – since he once worked in the United States as a movie stunt man -- but his request was allegedly was ignored by both embassies.

It was a tragic fall for the 74-year-old, who said that at the peak of his career, he was the stunt double of international superstar and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bryant said he is known in Hollywood circles as David Fletcher and started his career in show business in 1962.

He also claims to have millions in his bank account from his pension from the British and American governments.

Bryant said he first visited the Philippines in 1986 and immediately fell in love with the local culture while working as a missionary.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, he said his first wife Katherine and children abandoned him upon learning of his relationship with two other women.

He said his eldest son, Todd, is also a stunt man in Hollywood.

Because he was “treated like a dog” by his family, Bryant said he decided to stay in the Philippines because of the culture of Filipinos of respecting and taking care of their elders.