No Driving Through Walls for ‘Burn Notice’ Star

Jeffrey Donovan (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Donovan (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

A fair amount of precarious bang-up goes into USA’s popular summer show, ‘Burn Notice,’ which drew more than seven million viewers weekly last year. But the show’s star Jeffrey Donovan draws the line somewhere.

“This year, actually, there is so much more action, I am already hurt,” Donovan told Fancast at Thursday’s ‘Burn Notice’ event at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. “We are into episode seven, and I am exhausted.”

‘Burn Notice,’ which premieres its fourth season June 3 and is currently filming in Florida, has been known for showy physicality and explosions since its 2007 premiere. (It was lampooned in a recent ‘Saturday Night Live’ episode, in a skit about knowledge of the show.)

“They have increased the action, they have increased the explosions, [and] they have increased what I have to do,” Donovan says. “I take pride in doing all my own fights and as many stunts as I can. Some of the stuff they are having me do I can’t do. It’s just too dangerous. That’s how big of a violent world [my character] Michael is in.”

Donovan, a trained stage actor, says he tries dangerous stuff – but confesses he hands some duties off to his stunt double.

“I can’t [jump] through flames. I can’t drive a truck through a wall,” Donovan says. “I do my own fights. I will jump from any height [reasonable]. I think the limit I did was jump 15 or 20 feet off a tower into the ocean. The stuntman did 50 feet. I also jumped over a balcony at the end of season two where a door blew up. That was me. It was a small explosion. There was a bigger explosion and that was my stuntman. I try to do as much as I can.”

‘Burn Notice’s’ creator and executive producer, Matt Nix, was also at Thursday’s event. He downplayed that season 4 will be the Action Season, instead insisting producers know increasingly what they do well.

“I think mainly it’s just that we like torturing Jeffrey,” Nix joked to Fancast. “I think one of the things that you learn as the show goes on is just what you do well. We learned early in season one that we are good at blowing up cars. So, that kind of becomes a feature of the show. It’s fun for us to give these characters more challenges and new ways of interacting. We have done a lot of sitting down across the table from a bad guy, talking to him. So, in shaking that up, part of that is getting outside, running around, and new ways of interacting. We are always looking to expand the palette of the show and what we can do. Part of that is that.”

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