Street Fighter! - “Soaplife” magazine - February 2004
Meet fight co-ordinator Renny Krupinski, the man who puts the OUCH factor into Corrie’s best bust-ups…
Maybe there’s something in water or Betty’s been putting too much red meat in her hotpots, but the fists have been flying in Weatherfield.
Dev, Joe, Ciaran, Los, Mick, Steve, Fiz and Maria have all had punch-ups and even peacemaker Ken got in on the act when he hit Ade.
One man who’s not complaining though is Street fight co-ordinator Renny Krupinski. He’s had his work cut out, putting the stars through their paces and making sure no one gets hurt.
Renny, 48, trained as an actor and has appeared in the Street and Brookside. But he’s also one of TV’s top fight co-ordinators as well as a fencing coach and an aikido martial arts expert.
‘I started arranging fight scenes for stage plays and trained to get on the official Equity Register of Fight Directors,’ explains Renny. ‘The Street producers saw my work and about three years ago they asked me to come in and arrange a fight scene — and I’ve been doing it ever since.’
And it’s certainly been a very busy three years.
‘I worked with Brian Capron and Tracy Shaw on the scene where Richard Hillman murdered Maxine Peacock and that was great as it was such a high-profile storyline,’ says Renny. ‘Plus I worked with Brian and Helen Worth on the two-hander when Richard admitted he was the killer and the two of them fought.’
‘I also co-ordinated the fight for the Jubilee episode where the mock battle turned into a big scrap. That was rewarding as it involved so many people and that could have caused problems.’
Sally Lindsay benefited from Renny’s expert guidance when Shelley belted love rat Peter Barlow in the Rovers last November.
‘Sally’s lovely,’ says Renny, ‘but all the cast are professional and always keen to get it right so it looks good on TV and no one gets hurt. I worked with Sally on the big slap scene in the Rovers, and, recently, I seem to have been working with Jimmi Harkishin, who plays Dev, quite a lot.’
‘One of the people who really impresses me, though, is Bill Roache who plays Ken. He’s been in the show for years but he’s still a perfectionist.
‘When we did the scene where he hit Ade in the classroom he worked incredibly hard to get it rght. The year Corrie won the BAFTA, they used that clip so I was thrilled that some of my work was used to illustrate the quality of the show.’
So what does setting up a fight scene involve? ‘I get the script and go through it to see what’s possible and let them know what I think before we go into rehearsal. Then it’s a matter of turning up before filming and working through the scene with the actors and making sure they’re totally comfortable with what’s going on. We’ll then add padding and crash mats and work out how and here we’re going to add make-up effects. Then when the artists are happy with it, we’ll film it and I’ll see if it needs more work. ‘It can be a slow process and the end result may only last for a few seconds on screen, but fights, punches and slaps have to look realistic.’ Renny says he thoroughly enjoys working on he Street and hopes the fights keep on coming. We don’t think he needs to worry about that!
Words: Paul Brooks