Running Wild with Bear Grylls and Ben Stiller (Monday, Aug. 4 at 8pmET): Bear Grylls is an idol among those who know survival in the wild. His latest show, Running Wild With Bear Grylls, airing Mondays at 8pm ET on NBC, features Grylls taking celebrities into the wild. Tonight’s episode (Monday, Aug. 4) finds comedy legend Ben Stiller on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, in inhospitable rocky outcrop, where finding footing proves to be quite the challenge.
“I don’t know why I’m dong this,” Stiller said. “I thought it would be a good way to find out if it’s real or not.”
Grylls talked to us on the premise of the show and how it’s different than anything on TV today. “It is the first time we have done one for NBC and just one on ones, some of the biggest names in Hollywood are in for an adventure. Last year I did Get Out Alive and we have done this format in the UK of taking well-known people away. It proved successful over there. We wanted it to feel like specials. We are introducing people who have maybe never done this kind of thing before, and taking them so far out of their comfort zones.”
And out of their comfort zones they definitely are, the premiere episode featured Neighbors star Zac Efron parachuting into the Catskill mountains, eating worms and scaling the rugged landscape.
“The magic of the show is you see these guys totally uncovered. Hollywood makes an archetypical hero,” Grylls explains. “They are human beings and get on incredible journals. You never get to hear these stories. … I was hanging off an 800-foot cliff with Deion Sanders, who was praying and speaking in tongues at one point when he was so scared. A few days ago I was rappelling down a canyon with Tamron Hall and I could feel her whole body shaking with fear and likewise with Ben Stiller climbing up a cliff in Scotland’s Isle of Skye. He said, ‘We need help.’ And I said, ‘There isn’t any help; just you and me.’ At the end of it he was so proud.”
As for selecting the locations for their two-day adventure, Grylls has been to some of the locals but a lot of it is fresh and he’s discovering right along with the celebrity. “I filmed in
Yosemite and Scotland before. And that’s where we wanted the shows to be. We wanted it to be as much an adventure for us as it is for them. I have to be positive and be resourceful. I just finished the Channing Tatum one last night. He’s climbing up and found an old hemp rope. It could have been there for decades. He’s going, ‘Is it strong enough?’ ‘I don’t know.’ We are both in it together and sometimes you try stuff and it doesn’t work. And that is how it becomes the real adventure, and finish with a few bruises and scared and you get to know each other.”