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Interview: Bear Grylls of 'Man vs. Wild'

Bear Grylls from "Man vs. Wild" on Discovery
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LAist had a chance to talk to Edward Michael Grylls, more commonly known as Bear Grylls, a former British Special Forces commando is best known in the states for his "Man vs. Wild" on the Discovery Channel.Have you seen those bizarre Dos Equis commercials with the Most Interesting Man in the World? Well, Bear Grylls has been recruited by Dos Equis to be a Distinguished Instructor in the Most Interesting Academy, specializing in Surviving in the Modern World. It's a schtick to be sure, but it's such a bizarre schtick it's interesting, and the videos and material collected at "the Academy" are put together in such a clever and amusing way, they are worth a deeper look than what we saw when Grylls paraded them on Letterman a couple weeks ago.

LAist: What is your involvement in "The Most Interesting Academy"?

Bear Grylls: The idea is that the Academy will empower people by providing a series of vignettes of how to survive in the modern era. I'll show you how to escape from burning buildings, how to escape being mugged, how to cross a bridge when it's gridlocked, how to survive off of rats in the sewers, and how to run across rooftops. It's really fun, a fun campaign, and I had wanted to do a lot of the urban survival stuff for a while and this was a good excuse to do that.

LAist: It seems that no matter where you get put on the planet, you seem to find grubs to eat. Is Dos Equis saying they are the best beer to wash down some fresh grubs?

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Bear Grylls: Well there are fresh grubs all over but we shot these in London, and I did catch a rat on the rooftops of London and I showed how to catch the rat and cook it, found some mint in the bushes, so there we are on the roofs, with a fire, roasted rat with mint, and I had a nice cold Dos Equis beer to wash it down with. Survival might not always be pretty, but it doesn't always have to taste terrible.