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Paul Darnell

April 28, 2015

Free Runner/Stunt Man/America Ninja Warrior Finalist

Nickname: "Diddy"

PassionsFree running

Philosophy: “LIVE FREE or DIE”

Paul sees opportunities to play where most people see obstacles. He says free running “changes the way you look at the world around you. Everything becomes your playground and infinite possibilities are unlocked.” Paul got hooked after seeing a parkour/free running video in 2003 on ‘Ripley’s Believe or Not.’

That led to his first stunt job as Adam Sandler’s double, and a reputation as a go-to stunt man in Hollywood. Paul was cast as Robert Pattinson’s double in the Twilight series and as Superman himself in the Man of Steel. He loves going to work because in his words, “For stunts, I get paid to play. It’s the best job ever.” 

Paul played a warrior in the film ‘300: Rise of an Empire,’ but became a household name as a two-time finalist on the show America Ninja Warrior.  However, his proudest accomplishment is starting an internationally recognized freerunning brand, Tempest Freerunning, and opening two of the top freerunning facilities in the world. His goal is to inspire adults to move by developing free running fitness programs and opening new academies around the world. It’s Paul’s passion because “the feelings of empowerment over my environment and exploration of new movements inspires me to want to share this discipline with others.”

3 QUESTIONS with "DIDDY" (no relation to the rapper):

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

To follow my own path and not be afraid of being me.

What's your go to meal and ritual before a big competition or stunt?

Being a vegan athlete I rely heavily on fruit. Bananas are my go to meals pre and post. Add a little almond butter and I have a great recovery meal. Before a competition or a stunt, I like to clear my head with no music at all. I visualize exactly what I want to do.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Beyoncé. She makes good music and I like it!


  • First place on Jump City Seattle (televised freerunning competition)
  • 2009 American Ninja Warrior finalist
  • 2012 American Ninja Warrior finalist (stage 2)
  • Stunt Double Henry Cavill in Superman: Man of Steel
  • Stunt Double Robert Pattinson in Twilight
  • Stunts on 300: Rise of an Empire


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