Besides a few phone calls as of recent, Mathieu Ledoux was much the same to me as many of you out there. A fresh face, with mind boggling new maneuvers. One difference is I in fact had been following Mathieu's skating for a couple of years now. Not knowing anything of him personally. I viewed each section as a fan, and looked forward to the next.
As of recent, I finally had the distinct honor of meeting Mathieu in person. I had invited him to join a few others and myself on a new project that we were working on. Honored, Mathieu was quick to agree, and was on a plane to San Diego a couple weeks later. All the others including myself were extremely excited to see what he was all about. Unfortunately, Mathieu's trip here was short lived due to injury and work. But knowing him face to face for roughly 48 hours, here's what I can tell you of him.
Mathieu Ledoux is a honorable man. The kind of man you would tell a secret to, trust to hold an engagement ring, ask to represent and be apart of your company, or take on any adventure you’re about to embark upon. Quite honestly the most level headed, easy to get along with person I have ever met in my life. His love for his wife and friends that surround him can only be matched by his passion and dedication for his work. And skating.
Most of you may not know, but Mathieu is a professional stuntman, and is extremely talented and dedicated to his profession. When he is not busy on a job, or skating, he is in his facility practicing for new stunts, or new skate maneuvers. Purely professional in all aspects of the word. Living on strict diets of nutritional and useful foods, he remains in immaculate condition. He has no bad vises, as far as I know. He rarely drinks, and if he does, not to get drunk. He does not smoke, or use drugs of any form. If it is true what they say, „Your body is your temple.“, then Mathieu has a kick ass temple!
Now that you know a little about Mathieu Ledoux as a person, let me tell you about his skating and my perception of it. In this era of skating in which it seems almost impossible to „Wow!“ each other, Mathieu steps in like a breathe of fresh air. He brings new inspiration that all of us can respect and incorporate in to our existing style of skating. His combination of parkour skills and years of skating experience make for a unique visual symphony.
He skates by my number one rule without knowing it: „Be impressive not only to your peers within your sport, but equally if not more impressive to those outside with no understanding of your sport“. I feel Mathieu, along side some of our greats, such as Farmer, Haffey, Aragon, Alfano etc., has the potential to show the public our physical prowess, technicality, and well rounded athleticism that rollerblading boasts.
Mathieu has picked up where my personal favorite, Dustin Latimer, has left off. And he showed me, as well as everyone else, that we still have more room to progress and new dimensions to achieve and master. Though I will admit that Mathieu's skating is not for everyone to aspire to become, I do believe we can all learn something from him and achieve our own true direction to its fullest potential. I am proud to know Mathieu and call him a friend. I am also glad to see him in a position to help progress and inspire our sport. Mathieu does not need rollerblading. He does it, because he loves it!
Introduction by Damien Wilson
Interview by Oliver Nermerich and Dave Ghent
Photography be Yan Lecomte, Leon Basin, Awall, Félix Rioux
Mat in Arizona – Shot by Awall
Let‘s start with the basics! What‘s your name? How old are you? What are your sponsors? Are you single, engaged or married?
Mathieu Ledoux, 28 years young, my sponsors are NIMH, Create Originals, Renegade Bearings, *&?%#& wheels and Lylac skate shop. I am married to my little buddha Alison Côté.
When did you get married? What does family mean to you?
I got married 2 years ago. Not under the church and government though. It was a friends and family reunion to celebrate our love and my Dad was the one who declared us married. Family for me is the people who you bond with. I have a huge family ha ha... To me we are all brothers and sisters.
Did you bring your skates to your honeymoon?
Dude, everyday is honeymoon when I am at home ha ha... But no, I did not bring my skates.
Some years ago an edit from you popped up on one of the big Rollerblading news sites. You did some weird stuff in that edit, but everyone seemed to like it! We are just wondering what you have been up to all the years before? Why didn‘t your name pop up before that?
Life has its own timing, I guess. I was probably not ready or something. I have been skating for 17 years, more than half of my life.
Leaving his mark on one of Montreal's hot spots – Shot by Yan Lecomte
You used to skate for Shop-Task and Valo. But then you switched to Boutique Lylac and NIMH? Why?
Leon from Shop-Task is a really good friend of mine and it was a hard move for me to do. But I live in Montreal and I thought I could do better for my local scene if I was helping out my local shop. Plus, I always skate and hang out with Lylac owner Guillaume so it just made sense to me. I quit Valo for some personal reasons. I think its a solid skate with a solid team and I truly hope that Julio and Roces do well.
You have reached the ripe old age of 28 years. So you must have had a lot of skating memories. What‘s your best skating related memory?
There is too many! My first trip to Cali, the first video I saw (The Bottom Line), sessions where you feel joy at its climax. You know what I am talking about; when you feel like time does not exist, when you feel like you are the moment itself. Sessions with my bro Stephane Julien in our barn, my trip to AZ, and right now answering these questions!
Is it true that you are working as a stunt man?
There is always an extraordinary way to approach a spot,
Mat is always going for it – Shot by Félix Rioux
During the Shop-Task Tour through East Canada earlier this year you had to leave earlier than expected. I heard you got a call from Hollywood? What‘s that about?
Haha, that‘s Leon making fun of me for being a stuntman. I had to go work that‘s all.
So what movies did you do stunt work for?
Rollerball, Death Race, 300, Twilight 3, Punisher War Zone, R.E.D, Mummy 3, Love Guru, Outlander, Shoot 'Em Up, Steal, The Phantom and many more.
What is it like to regularly travel for work? What cities do you often film movies in?
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver & Russia.
How did you get into the world of stunt work?
Well I always wanted to be a stuntman. I remember at school my teacher asked us to write 10 careers that we wanted to do. The first one on my list was stuntman. When she saw my answer she told me that there was no stunt class in college.
I replied that she asked me what I wanted to do and not what I wanted to study. Move forward a few years later, and I get a call to go do the audition for the flick Rollerball. I got the job and it was my first experience with Hollywood. It was nuts! That is all I am going to say about it.
What‘s your experience with the film business? Some people say it‘s a hard business, some people say it‘s the best job you can get and some people say it‘s full of drugs. So what do you think about it?
How do you experience life? Some people say its full of dangers, some people say its hard and cruel and some other people say its an amazing experience! Same for the film business. I really enjoy my work. I try to choose who I am working with and surround myself with grounded people who are passionate about their work. Of course it gets crazy sometimes. There is a lot of money involved and sometimes humans act really weird when the green is around.
With which actor/actress have you worked with, and would you go out partying with?
I don’t party. I feel like my life is a party. Everyday I get up and try to have fun. I play during the day and at night I rest and enjoy some quiet time. Reading, watching a movie, stretching, spending some sexy time with my wife, you know...? To answer your question I would like to hang out with Steve Carell.
And since you do stunts, doesn‘t it feel crazy to also „stunt“-skate in your spare time? Does your work actually help you to get better at Rollerblading?
Well, sometimes I can hear this voice in my head saying „Well, don‘t get hurt ’cause you won’t be able to work“, but I let it go and I try to just enjoy skating. It helps sometimes when I am scared to do a trick , I ask someone to give me a 3-2-1 action and my brain goes blank, and I just go.
Not a common thing for a Quebecois: wearing a Toronto tribute shirt – Shot by Yan Lecomte
What was the scariest thing you have ever done as a stuntman?
The scariest thing I did was a huge drop in for the movie rollerball. It was a 1 foot wide 20 feet high roll in that was dropping onto a 10 foot vert plastic glass wall with 3 feet of sketchy tray at the bottom. What also scares me is the fact that I never know when I‘ll be working next and that I forget that I can create whatever I want.
And as a Rollerblader?
The scariest thing I did rollerblading was also a drop in in Arizona, which you may have seen in my 90 seconds edit.
In terms of your work and your skating, do you see yourself as an artist?
Of course! First of all an artist creates. I guess we all are artists in a way ’cause we all create our own life. Some of us are aware of that and take full responsibility for our lives and thus have power to transform it. Others will blame everything around them for the life they have. They will blame their parents, people, situations etc. Those people can‘t transform their situation ’cause they think they are not responsible for their own life.
This was not an easy task: first how to get up there and then second he had to overcome his acrophobia – Shot by Yan Lecomte in MTL
How is the scene in Montreal these days?
Booming! So many young kids are buying skates. It also feel like all the OG‘s are getting back into it. Lylac skate shop is doing a good job. We also have a shop in Quebec city called D-Structure and they are also starting to get involved, which is a good thing.
Is it true that Montreal has the most beautiful girls in this world? If it‘s true, what might be the reason for that? Healthy food, healthy environment or is it just the clothing?
They heard I was living here ha ha... I married the most beautiful one! I don‘t think clothing has anything to do with being beautiful. Either healthy food or environment. I think their beauty comes from within themselves, perhaps it‘s more cultural, I don‘t know haha...
What or who can make you laugh the most?
My friend Thomas, and myself when I act like a jackass. When I think that I „know“... or „I am right“. Also people who think they are cool because they can skate good. They do some nice tricks and suddenly they‘re special. That is a really funny to me.
What would Mat Ledoux consider as the most important thing in his life?
God, love, stay present in the moment and work on becoming a better being, dig deeper into consciousness. Share with my brothers and sisters. Be the change I want to see in this dream. Also my wife! Just in case she reads my interview haha...
In Arizona while filming for his 90 seconds Revolution edit
Besides all the work and skating, I heard you are also big into skiing and parkouring. How do you manage all this and what does skiing and parkouring give you that rollerblading can‘t?
Well first of all, people need to know that up in Montreal we can‘t skate street from November to March because it gets really cold. I really enjoy being on a mountain, the view, the fresh air and of course skiing. I went on a back-country trip last winter and it was an amazing experience. Skiing deep powder through trees and hitting mellow lines was just.. Wow! I watch more skiing videos more than rollerblading. If I want to get juiced to go skate I‘ll watch skiing, it‘s weird...
Parkour is something else. At one point that’s all I would do. When you are not into it you don‘t really get it. The true essence of parkour... It’s almost like a martial art. I learned from the founders in France. They did not only teach me techniques, they taught me a way of life, values, respect and generosity. To be humble.
If you have the time to go on vacation now where would a Matt Ledoux go? What kind of trip would you be interested in?
My wife and I are going to Peru for a month. I am interested in a trip that would involve transformation. Which can be anywhere with anyone, if I am aware enough.
You can‘t be a stunt man forever, right? So what does your back-up plan look like?
I could if I wanted to. But I don‘t. No back up plan, just trust life and keep doing what I love to do.
Do you have any expectations from yourself? Where do you see yourself in the future? Or are you the type of guy that just lives for the moment?
I have big expectations but I am not attached to any results. I want to be able to be present in the now. It might take my whole life to do that, maybe not. I have started my journey and I want to stay on this path. Besides that I am planning to have kids and spend the rest of my life with Alison.
Again, Arizona-time: X-Rated filming Mat – Shot by Awall
What else can we expect from Matt Ledoux this year? Any video projects that you‘re filming for? Any other projects?
Yes, I got a section in my mind that needs to come out! I am starting to work on it next week. Its gonna be blading as I see it, unlimited, unrestricted, powerful, creative and of course the most important of all, inspired, which means „IN-Spiritus“ – from the spirit.
What movies will you be stunt-working for in the next months?
Well, right now I am working on two TV shows called Covert affairs and Alphas. After that I am going to Peru.
Thanks for your time, Matt. Any shout outs?
I would like to thank Be-Mag and Olli for this opportunity, OG for the frames, Brett from M1 and Renegade, Damien for inspiring me to start skating again, Leon from Shop-Task, Guillaume from Lylac, James at Revolution, all my friends around me that I love so much, and of course my wife THE BOMB Alison haha... And I would like to thank you who are reading these words right now. Thanks.