Please be alerted to the fact that NBC changed the season premiere date of our cover story Running Wild With Bear Grylls.
Monday, August 1 - Julianne Hough travels to the African Sahara
Tuesday, August 2 - Nick Jonas travels to the Sierra Nevadas
By Barb Oates
It was a busy week for world-renowned adventurer Bear Grylls when we caught up with him. He had just finished filming an episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls with football great Marshawn Lynch. Next he’s off with Olympic downhill skier Lindsey Vonn and then on to Shaquille O’Neal and Courteney Cox.
As the series starts its third season, there’s no sign of Grylls slowing down. His list of celebrities willing to stretch themselves outside of their comfort zone continues to grow. Running Wild has become somewhat of a badge of honor.
“We’ve been so lucky. We do get amazing people on the show,” Grylls says. “We always try to pick people that everyone will be intrigued to find out actually what they’re like beyond the chat-show couch. … People that you’d be intrigued to get to know what they’re really like — you know them but don’t really know them. … There’s a real sense nowadays when guests come on the show that they almost invariably say, ‘Kate Winslet’s a great friend of mine’ or ‘Ben Stiller was saying he had to do this’ or ‘So-and-so said it really changed their life positively,’ and we’ve got a sort of badge of honor developing now. I love that because it’s a great privilege to adventure alongside these people, so the show sort of built into something I never would have thought, really.”
Grylls tailors each journey uniquely to the celebrity with his No. 1 priority being to deliver them back home safely. While the adventure isn’t a fitness challenge, he does push celebs to their limits.
“We’re not there to break people; we’re there to do a journey together and along the way you see people, as I say, grow,” Grylls says. “But to grow you need to go through a little bit of pain, and it’s why at the end of the journey the pride is always so intense while filming these people.
"Whether it’s Nick Jonas the other day up in the mountains and he was just so amped at the end of it — he’d done this big swim through this semi-frozen lake and he gets out at the end and he’s just cheering and he knows the journey’s almost over and he’s gone through ups and downs and fears and lows and all of that.
"There’s a pride at the end of it and that’s why I do the job, but to get to that stage there’s often a little bit of pain first and it’s what they want, though — this is why people sign up. They get that raw, real side of it.”