Forged In Fire
Season 2 History (*186) 20:30 Reality
As reality show Forged In Fire’s (2015current) contestants compete to make historical weapons, host Wil Willis brings his real-life combat expertise to the table – he’s a former United States Army Ranger and learnt to fight with a bayonet. “When you’re part of a show, you’re a cog in a bigger wheel, just like you are in the military. It’s a structured thing, so it translates well for me,” says Wil. He also loves his instructor’s role, adding, “As an instructor in the military, talking to people and teaching is a big part of my background, so I’m learning a lot and I feel like the audience is too.”
The 41-year-old was born on a mili1
tary base near Portugal and moved around the US until his army dad retired when Wil was in high school.
His Twitter nickname whiskey_ 2
whiskey is his initials (WW) in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Wil says that Forrest Gump (1994) 3
is one of his favourite war movies. “What is your mission? To do whatever you tell me to,” he quotes Tom Hank’s famous character. “Most military guys operate in that capacity.”
The Forged In Fire host describes 4
himself as an “uber-nerd” who’s read a lot of sword and sorcery books.
Despite his tough-guy military 5
background, he’s not a fan of pain and tweeted about having a tattoo re-moved this year: “I wanna punch my 20-year-old self in the face!” he wrote.
The hardest part of hosting the 6
show for hyperactive Wil is standing still in one place for the cameras.
Forged In Fire has also taught Wil 7
to make his own blades and push him to get more involved behind the scenes. He’s currently studying screenwriting in the LA Film Academy’s threeyear programme.