‘MacGyver’: Cool Gadgets, Wild Stunts and Plenty of Explosives

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MacGyver - Skull + Electromagnet, BTS
Guy D'Alema/CBS

Body doubles—and a whole lotta green screens—help the show’s stunts look like the real deal while keeping the stars safe. Sometimes Till gets so into the action that, well, he forgets he has lines! “I once was scaling a building with suction cups from the bottom of a bathroom cleaner can,” he recalls. “I was up at least 25 feet in this harness and trying to hold on and they were screaming ‘Now act! Act!’” he says.

MacGyver - DIY or DIE, BTS
Guy D'Alema/CBS

“Because George and I work really well together, filming stunts goes quick,” Till says. “We grunt at each other and understand what’s going on.” How does Till feel with his life literally in Eads’s hands in some scenes, as pictured here? “He’s the most stable, dependable part of the wild, wacky ride that is the show,” says the actor.

Macgyver - Mac + Jack, bts
Guy D'Alema/CBS

Eads and Till experienced a first in this episode: throwing punches at each other. “The flashback starts out with us fighting,” Till says. Eads, however, may have gotten too into the tussle. “George elbowed me in the sternum for real every take,” Till recalls with a laugh. “He definitely added some flavor.”

MacGyver BTS
Jace Downs/CBS

Funnyman Justin Hires (photobombed by costar Tristin Mays) always knows how to stir up a good time on set. But this season, as his alter ego, Wilt Bozer, goes deep into operative training, Hires has gotten to show off some impressive dramatic acting chops. His fellow actors have taken notice. “George and I would catch Justin’s scenes,” Till says, “and we’d have to redo our makeup because we were in tears watching him!”

MacGyver BTS
Kim Simms/CBS

Till admits that working with the gadgets Mac creates out of ordinary household items (like the pocketknife seen on the back of this director’s chair) has gotten easier in Season 2. In fact, he now masters the “MacGyvering” in under five minutes. “It’s similar to choreography—you’re memorizing all the moves,” he says.

Macgyver - Duct Tape + Jack, BTS, Tristin Mays
Jace Downs/CBS

Computer hacker Riley (Mays) can get past the toughest of firewalls with her eyes closed. But now that she’s venturing into the field more, those eyes better be wide open. “We use these paintball guns that shoot balls called zerks, which explode and spark,” Till explains. “George and I both had the sparks hit us right in the face and producers said, ‘That’s just how we want it!’”

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Disarming ONE lethal bomb? Crafty government operative Angus MacGyver (Lucas Till) has been there, done that. Disarming two bombs in two different locations at the same time? Now, that’s a challenge!

In the January 5 episode of the hit CBS action series, MacGyver, Mac’s yet-unseen archnemesis, The Ghost, plants the explosives to bury MacGyver once and for all. While Mac and his partner/BFF Jack (George Eads) try to disable the devices, they flash back to meeting for the first time in Afghanistan during their Army days. (Shocker: They were anything but friendly.) Here, Till pulls the curtain—or make that green screen—back and reveals how the pieces of the high-octane episode come together.

MacGyver, Fridays, 8/7c, CBS