Brie Larson and Bear Grylls rappel down a sheer drop-off for National Geographic's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls".
Picture: Courtesy of National Geographic/Ben Simms
Brie Larson and Bear Grylls rappel down a sheer drop-off for National Geographic's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls". Picture: Courtesy of National Geographic/Ben Simms

Bear Grylls runs wild with Hollywood A-listers in National Geographic show

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Jan 22, 2020

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When it comes to pulling through in the wilderness or any similar harsh terrain, having Bear Grylls close by is a comforting thought. 

After an early career in the military, Grylls found fame on TV, in particular, a show called "Man vs Wild". And he went on to push the envelope in a plethora of other shows. Now he is back on the small screen for the fifth season of National Geographic’s "Running Wild with Bear Grylls".

This time, he’s got Hollywood’s A-listers joining him in the most rugged and isolated of terrains.

When asked about the celebrity guest who surprised him the most this season, Grylls revealed: “ Each of the episodes this season was special to me but I think it was Cara Delevingne who really surprised me. She’s such a survivor at heart, and she truly brought that spirit to the wild. The positivity and determination she has shown in her life helped her so much on our journey and getting to know her personal story was so powerful. Despite the huge challenges she has faced in her life growing up she shows us all that true resilience comes from within and that courage is all about facing the difficult and always moving forward towards it.” 

With each of the stars, they chose locations that complemented the star’s strengths but still challenged them. 

He added: “There is no specific skills test, but we do ask about their abilities, what they’ve done and what they’d always dreamt of doing. When we’re in the wild, it’s always in such a dynamic situation that you have to be on your game, and obviously, as a crew we can only anticipate so much out there. Our team usually scouts a location ahead of time and we map out a journey, with the goal of having an adventure that is based on what will provide each guest with a truly unforgettable and empowering experience. That’s it. Let the wild reveal and then empower.” 

And the audience gets to learn more about animal and environment conversation issues when watching the show. 

Grylls offered: “If my travels have shown me one thing it’s just how precious this planet is and how fundamental nature is to humanity. I think you have to see it to believe it. This is why it’s so important to get outdoors so we can all forge a stronger relationship with the natural world. You don’t have to look far to see first-hand the devastation that is happening. That’s why for example US President Obama wanted to go on the journey with us on 'Running Wild"' he’d studied the science and he said, ‘I’ve seen all the data, I understand that, but I want to see it first hand and experience it’. Ditto for Prime Minister Modi of India, who after I took him on a journey to the rain forest announced his vision to ban one-use plastic in India. These moments are the seeds of change. Because when we stand up close and we see first-hand the effects of climate change, then that’s the best classroom.” 

Other guests on the show include Alex Honnold ("Free Solo"), Armie Hammer ("The Social Network"), Brie Larson ("Captain Marvel"), Channing Tatum ("Magic Mike"), Dave Bautista ("Avengers: Endgame"), Rob Riggle ("Night School") and Zachary Quinto ("American Horror Story"). 

Channing Tatum for National Geographic's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls". Picture: Courtesy of National Geographic/Ben Simms.

They explore everything from crocodile-filled mangroves in Panama, underwater caves in Sardinia, the deep crevasses in Iceland’s largest glacier and the scorching desert slot canyons in Arizona. 

On what viewers will take away from the show, Grylls revealed: “To get out there in the wild and embrace all that adventure can do for us. It is about learning from nature and developing a never give up spirit that you take back to everyday life.” He added: “I am excited to film more shows in India and China this year as well as Australia. All such diverse, beautiful and remarkable countries.” 

"Running Wild with Bear Grylls" airs on National Geographic (DStv channel 181) on Wednesday, January 22, at 9pm. 

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