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'Ultimate X' Interview: Moto X's Carey Hart, & Jason Ellis


© Disney Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.

Written by: Press
Date: May 6, 2002

With the red-carpet premiere of 'Ultimate X' just hours away, Moto X Jumper Carey Hart and X-Games Commentator/Former Pro Skater Jason Ellis met with the press to reveal a bit about themselves, their sports and the new Big Movie about the 2001 Summer X-Games.


Category: Interviews

Ultimate X Synopsis: A look into ESPN's massively popular Summer X Games, ULTIMATE X chronicles all the breathtaking highlights and dramatic stories behind the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia as it showcases the eye-popping skateboarding, biking, moto X, and street luge competitions on the giant screen for the first time.

Main Film Page: Trailer, Clips, Reviews, Interviews, Production Notes


Q: So Carey, do you plan to try another back flip?

Carey Hart (Bio): I don't know. It's pretty doubtful. I'd like to kind of move onto something new. Too much of a risk. It's real dangerous. And I'm actually tired of breaking bones to tell you the truth.

Q: What was going through your mind in the film (when you ate it on the backflip attempt)?

CH: At that moment? Uh, if I was gonna splat like a pancake. I was falling from pretty high. And, pretty much just to get as little damage as possible is what I tried to do.

Q: Are you guys surprised at how big the X Games have gotten and how mainstream it's becoming?

CH: No, actually.

Jason Ellis (Bio): I think it should be bigger.

CH: Yeah. It's a matter of time. I think everyone's getting bored with jock sports. How much can you watch a guy swing a bat or throw a football? I think our stuff's a lot more exciting. No offense, but those guys get paid way too much.

JE: It should be at least the same, huh?

CH: Yeah. I mean, those guys get paid way too much to sit on their asses six months out of the year. And there's not a whole lot of danger in it. I mean, what's the worse thing that can really happen playing baseball, like twist your ankle, falling?

JE: I give it credit. But I just think that the worst guy on the team gets more money than the top five (in most action sports). Most of the dudes that skate and ride motocross don't walk properly the rest of their lives. So, I think at least the same pay would be nice.

CH: Yeah. Of course a lot of those guys are doing it for the money. We're doing it because it's what we do. Whether or not we're getting a paycheck. We're skating and will skate. You know, how many (pro football players) would go play touch football?

Q: So, is there a trick you haven't perfected yet that you're working on?

CH: Well, definitely the back flip.

Q: You said you wouldn't try it again.

CH: I won't say I won't try it again. But it's definitely not my focus anymore. I think I've paid the price. I've tried it twice. And I've gotten hurt really bad both times. So, I don't know. Honest, I just want to kind of just milk it and just have some fun.

JE: You kind of did it, dude. (Editor's note: On his first attempt Carey landed the back flip cleanly, then lost control of his bike and fell off.)

CH: Everyone's skeptics, you know. There are always gonna be the people that say I didn't.

JE: I'm claiming you did it.

CH: Thanks. Me too. I'm trying to claim it. You know, they're always gonna' throw it in my face.

JE: Yeah, claim it.

Q: How did you get into riding at age four?

CH: My family's into it. Both of my uncles still race.

Q: So, they took you out with them.

CH: Yeah. My dad actually builds a lot of courses. And my grandfather used to ride and got them into it when they were young. So, it's like a family thing.

Q: What about your background, Jason?

JE: They were all motocross riders. And I sold my motor bike and come to America to be a pro skateboarder. Sorry.

Q: What about other interests? Do you play in a band?

JE: I don't really have a band. I've got a guitar and all that stuff. Fender gave me a signature guitar. And they want me to be in a band, because they gave me a signature guitar. But I'm too much of a loaner to get into a band. And I'm not famous enough as a musician to do a solo album. So, I'm screwed.

Q: Carey, didn't you play bass with Penny Wise?

CH: Yeah, I play around with it. Fender also hooked me up.

JE: Yeah, we're supposed to be in a band together. But we won't do it.

CH: We're about 400 miles apart from each other.

Q: How did that Penny Wise thing come about?

CH: I've always been into music. But I always spent all my time on my motorcycle, so I didn't really have much time to learn how to play an instrument. So, on the Warped tour, I made a deal with Byron the (Pennywise) drummer that I would learn one of their easy songs like Bro Hymn, that only has four chords. So, I learned how to play that during the tour.

Then the last day of the tour the techs got to jump our ramp - they got to ride our bikes over the ramps. And I got to play bass with the band. So, that was the deal. And it worked out. And I've done it a couple of times - I'm good friends with those guys. And that's pretty rad.

Q: Do you think the film presents the sports really well?

JE: The thing with these kind of sports is you can't really... a movie can't explain it, you know what I mean. No matter who made a movie about it... It's not real. You know what I mean? It's that little thing you have to be one of those people to really know how it feels. But I will say it's the best outside look at our sports I've ever seen – the best overall look at all our sports that I've ever seen.

Q: Do you think we're seeing what the crowd sees when they go?

JE: Oh yeah. No, better than that, way better than what the crowd's seeing. Don't you think?

CH: Oh, yeah.

JE: Some of those angles I was trippin' on.

CH: That's the good thing with this too - they actually got behind the scenes. Everybody knows obviously when the camera's on you're not bein' 100 percent you, but it's pretty close. You get some of the personalities from the athletes.

They did a really good job. Especially with the high quality of IMAX compared to the digital cameras that most videos are done with. The overall quality is great.

Q: Do the fans get to know you? Do you talk to them?

CH: It's not really like a big rock star thing with us, you know what I mean? These guys go to skate parks and skate with kids that buy their stuff. And I go to the local track, and I ride with ten-year-old kids that buy my stuff. We get to session with our fans. It's not like this whole thing where you can only go to the stadium and never see us except on TV or in something you read. We're just normal people.

Q: What do you think it is about skateboarding, surfing and motocross, what lumps those all together? Or should they even be lumped all together?

JE: ‘Cause it's yours. You make it yourself. There's no specific way to do it. That's why I got into it. Nobody told me how to do it. I just made it up as I went, and then found a bunch of people that were similar and wanted to be in the same area, had the same ideas as me. It was weird how even with him (Carey), you know, he's a motocross guy. And as soon as I met him, I'm on tour where I was skating and he was riding motocross. I was hanging out with him. And he's who I wanted to hang out with because he was the same kind of guy... He liked jumping stuff and almost getting killed doing it.

CH: It's the mentality too. Even though he just got on a skateboard, I got on a motorcycle. We all go into our sports the same way.

Q: What do you say about street luge?

CH: It is what it is. It's cool.

JE: Yeah, if they want to do that, it's okay.

Q: The IMAX is a more accurate representation than in the video games, right?

JE: Looking at some of the spots that I don't do in the movie, I could clearly see how dangerous they were. Certain jumps, you can understand exactly how far the gap is. When you're in the crowd watching it in the stadium, a hundred feet away, you think you know how big it is. But if you walked up and looked where he lands, you'd be like, you gotta' be kidding me. They did a good job getting on the floor, really showing you what's going on, not just some kooky angle from a cameraman who's on the top of the stadium where you can't get the perception of what's really going on.

Q: The margin for error is so great. How does it make you feel that there's a possibility of dying or seriously injuring yourself? Or is that just the excitement of it all?

CH: It sucks gettin' hurt.

JE: It sucks to admit it, but yeah.

CH: You know it's gonna' happen. Maybe that's why I got so many tattoos. I guess I just like some little bit of pain...

JE: Yeah, I don't like it. But without it -- without the possibility of it, it would be boring.

CH: Yeah, and if you didn't get hurt doing it, then everyone would do it.

Q: So, what about death? Does that ever really cross you mind?

CH: Yeah, I've almost died a couple of times. I almost bled to death once. It's why not as many people do it.

Q: So, this is a sport that would require you having health insurance then.

CH: Yeah, if you can get it.

JE: Yeah, for sure.

CH: Good luck.

Q: What do you guys think about the level of your sports and how things are going now and the kids coming out and stuff? Is it getting crazier and crazier?

JE: I feel sorry for people ten years from now. That's all I gotta' say.

CH: Yeah, I'm glad I got in it when I did.

JE: Yeah. If it has to progress like what it did from ten years ago to now, then I'd really hate to be the dude in ten years from now who's trying to one-up us.

CH: Yeah. But it's all a progression. Probably by that time, they'll be watching the X Games rather than the Super Bowl. And Tony Hawk the third will be running around… you'll be seein' Tony Hawk's grandkid's name on the back of a jersey instead of a football player or a basketball player. I'm hoping it's all a progression.

JE: You've got it in for the football guy, huh?

CH: I just think it kind of sucks.

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