Salvatore Paul "Tory" Belleci is an American television personality and model maker, best known for his work on the Discovery Channel television program MythBusters.
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EDIT: I've been answering for about two hours, and need to take a coffee break. But feel free to keep asking questions; I'll check in later today to answer more! Thanks for the questions and comments so far!
It's been about a year since my last reddit AMA, so I thought it was time to do another. Ask me anything about MythBusters, White Rabbit Project, Star Wars, Starship Troopers, Galaxy Quest, The Matrix 2 and 3, etc.!
Did you ever recover from the emotional damage caused by the infamous bike jump?
Haha! Yes, and amazingly I didn't get injured too bad. I need to revisit that jump using a BMX bike.
I asked Adam Savage this, I'll ask you too.
When will some one remake Junkyard Wars? It seems like it would be perfect for some one with your skill set.
That's funny you say that. We've been talking about revamping that show.
Well you apparently worked on a ton of stuff that defined my childhood. Any memorable moments from your movie work?
Starship Trooper was the first movie I worked on at Industrial Light and Magic and it is the one movie I'm most proud of.
I just want you to know that is my favorite movie to watch drunk.
Has there ever been a project you took on, regretted half-way through, and had it end up being one of your favorites when done? Or have you pretty much always ended feeling the same way you started?
My first week on Mythbusters. I left ILM where I was working on big special effects movies, next thing I knew I was scraping chicken guts off the walls of Jamie's shop. I almost quit, but I'm very glad I stuck it out.
Did the build team get booted from the show by the producers? by Adam and Jamie? or did you guys decide to leave on your own?
Did you really enjoy the skits you guys did re: myths (i.e. the prison break).
Where did you guys go to shoot your machine gun myths?
It was a combination of circumstances. The show had run it's course and we were ready to move on to new opportunities.
Also, have you ever had to work with any celebrities (not asking for names!) that you just refuse to work with again? If so, what sort of behavior was it that caused it?
Kari Byron!...Just kidding.
Dunno if you have answer this, but after "Hot Chile Cures" ep, did it made you love or hate spicy food more or less?
I still enjoy spicy foods, but I cringe when I smell habanero peppers.
Do you watch anime? Whats your favorite series if so?
Akira and Ghost in the Shell are two of my favorite anime movies.
If you can have one piece of tech from all the fictional universes you were involved in. What would it be and why?
Light saber! Great question.
What was the funniest episode of Mythbusters you filmed?
Probably the superhero episode. I just remember dressing up in costume and running around the shop like a freak.
Ariana's buttock on the stool : myth confirmed or busted ? your opinion ?
Did you ever get back at Scottie for the wagon bike jump?
No, but I do get to torture Kari from time to time.
"Lets egg Tori on until he hurts himself" lol
Why would they do that?
Wait, you're actually considering jumping the wagon again? Do you think using a BMX bike instead of that "cruiser" would help?
If you do decide to jump it again, we'll need Kari and Scottie there for commentary. Just like old times!
Totally. The "Cruiser" was way too heavy. BMX should be a piece of cake. I'll post it on YouTube.
If you had a time machine where would you visit?
The Jurassic Period.
Will there be more of the White Rabbit Project?
Ask Netflix. It's a bummer, because we were so happy with the way the show turned out, but a lot of people didn't even know we had a new show.
How did MB change your life the most? Did you begin to be recognised on the street, and did you expect that when you started? Oddest/best fan interaction?
Being recognized definitely took time to get used to. The best interactions are when fans recognize me, but can't place where they know me from. Did we go to school together? Do you work at my dry cleaners? So funny.
Can you make a machine that will pay off my student loans?
It already exists. It's called a phone. Call your family.
Was there a myth on the show that you were personally afraid to test?
Anything involving heights I tend to stay away from.
Where did you learn the majority of your workshop and building skills? I.E. Welding, carpentry, electronics, etc..
A lot of the skills I have I learned on the job. Fake it till you make it.
What's the most scared you've been on the job?
On White Rabbit Project I built a 1902 replica race car, the Baker Torpedo. I got it up to 80mph and when I applied the brakes the bolts sheered and I was heading for a cliff at the end of the runway with no brakes. At the last minute I cranked the wheel left and the car came to a stop.
What did you have the most fun building/fabricating for mythbusters?
One of my favorite builds was the rocket surfboard. Figuring out how to attach 200 rockets and have them go off in stages while staying on for the ride was the best!
Who decided on the cars used in non-car specific myths/scenarios? It seemed sometimes that sought after classics got destroyed sometimes, where regular/other cars could have been used
It still breaks my heart that we destroyed so many classic cars. Ugh.
Two quick questions: What was your favorite Myth to bust? And what was the most surprising result or conclusion you and the crew ever came to?
Thanks for doing this!
Dynamite Cement Truck.
Plan to do anymore racing soon? How did you enjoy Lemons?
24hrs of Lemons was awesome! I want to do it again. I approached them about doing a tv show.
We see on camera that yourself, Kari, and Grant have a great rapport. Do you continue to see them outside of the office?
I see Kari all the time and now that our White Rabbit Project Live tour is starting I'll be seeing both of them more.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?
I'll take 100 duck-sized horses please.
Will you please adopt me as your son and take me out to ice cream?
But seriously big fan I've been watching all your shows ever since I was a kid!
About 10 years ago you were in Windsor, Ontario on a tour speaking to kids. The extra tickets were turned over to the university and I was able to attend. In your talk you showed your Mythbusters audition tape “Do girls fart?” and also a video of a childhood experiment that I think was just a pipe bomb that you filmed from 6 feet away. Any chance you could share those videos again?
Oh man! That was a while ago. I'll look through my video files and see if I can find them.
First, thank you so much for your work on Mythbusters, it was a huge part of my childhood. How did you get started in the FX industry? I love prop making and I'd love to go into the industry when I get older, but I don't know where to start.
Thank you! I started as an intern on a tv show called Bump in the Night. I worked there for free for about three weeks and then they hired me. Also take a lot of good pictures of your work and put together a tight portfolio. Good luck!
What are your favorite restaurants on the Peninsula?
Delfina Pizzeria, Slanted Door, Kokkari
What have you been up to after Mythbusters?
We made a tv series for Netflix called White Rabbit Project. Check it out.
What are you working on these days? Saw you at a couple of Con's and you were always entertaining. Is there anything you can say about your MythBusters time we haven't heard yet?
Kari, Grant and I are getting ready for our White Rabbit Project Live Tour in cities on the west coast. If it goes well we'll roll it out to other stops. Also I'm currently working on a low budget horror movie. I'll keep you posted on that.
What are your thoughts on the Mythbusters reboot? Do you think the show should have ended when Jamie and Adam left, or are you happy to see the legacy continue?
I haven't really checked it out, but good luck to them.
When I was young watching mythbusters I always thought you and Kari Byron were a thing, were you guys together at some point?
No, just good friends. She's like my lil sister.
Waffles or pancakes?
Too difficult. Can't pick one.
Chicken with waffles
What's your favorite album?
Nevermind by Nirvana
You're friends with joel zimmerman. Whats your favorite car of his that he either previously or currently owns?
Do you have a desire to go back into making special effects for movies or non-educational TV shows (such as The Expanse, or the new Star Wars/Star Trek films)?
I do miss model making. I was hoping that the old model shop was going to get some work in for The Force Awakens, but it never happened.
How did it feel to work on Star Wars? Were you a fan when you saw it as a kid?
Star Wars changed my life as a kid. It was a dream come true to get to work on the Star Wars movies.
Are you still building/making stuff? I see mentions on your Twitter of a comic, anything else? If you aren't, anything you would like to be doing?
I have a horror movie I'm writing now so I'm stoked on that at them moment.
Hi Tory!!!! Im a huge, huge, HUGE fan! You're one of my all time favorite tv heros, I would really like to know when you Kari and Grant will be returning to television- if you are! I miss you guys so much and I was so sad to hear that there wont be a season 2 of White Rabbit Project (I loved the show!) Will you ever be doing a show like that again?
Thanks! Yeah it's a bummer about WRP. We have some shows in development so hopefully we'll be back soon. We miss you guys!
Do you have any favorite YouTube channels to recommend?
What was the worst injury you have sustained on Mythbusters?
I only went to the emergency room once on MB. Hollywood myths I was trying to hang on to the edge of a building. When I let go I fell 10ft and my shin hit the ledge of a window below. 7 stitches later I was good to go.
Was it you or Adam who got on Jaime Hyneman's nerves more? haha
I think you already have the answer to that one. ha!
Where can we check out some of your sculptures/paintings?
Were there ever any myths you wanted to test but never got around to it?
Going over the Niagara Falls in a barrel. Obviously I would get to build a super barrel out of space age materials.
Aside from basic needs, what is the best thing you have ever bought?
I just bought an iPad pro with Procreate sketch. I can't put it down.
Who inspired you to get to where you are now?
My dad. He was very creative and loved helping me with what ever crazy ideas I had. He still does.
What's your favourite fruit and why?
Mango. It just is.
How many other guys have you met that also have the name Tory?
Weirdly enough on the set of MB and WRP we had a builder named Tory.
What did it feel like when Kari was 'mind controlling' you? Did it hurt?
It hurt like hell! Funny, but painful.
I love everyone from Mythbusters, but you, Kari, and Grant seem like great friends in real life. You are a joy to watch together! Thanks for the good times!
How many times a day at the shop did you think to yourself, "I have the best job on Earth and I'm one of the five luckiest mofos alive!"?
I would think that to myself several times a day.
Really just wanted to say thank you for so many years of Mythbusters—that show inspired me to go into science and I miss it a lot!
Thanks! Italian food.
Huge myth-busters fan here, what is your favorite myth that you tested? My favorite was the bullet proof car using phonebooks!
Bullet proofing a car with phone books was an awesome episode.
What is your favorite Sylvester Stallone movie?
Asking the important question here. Automatic or standard?
What was your favorite episode of White Rabbit Project? Does the production of the new series feel different from how Mythbusters was?
It seems to me that in both shows you get to genuinely have fun! Always fun to see you freak out about sciencey cool stuff! I would too. Just heard about your tour, which happens to coincide with my holiday in Seattle, hope to see you there! :)
My fav ep of WRP was superpowers. I got to throw lightening bolts!!!
When you signed up for MythBusters did you know it would be so painful or hazardous?
I blame myself for that. I really need to learn how to say no.
Have you at any time during your career thought "By golly I wish I had studied X subject for Y thing I'm doing right now."?
Every day. Why didn't I pay more attention in science class.
Man Mythbusters steered me towards engineering, whats the most difficult thing you've had to build in your career??? Thanks!
Stoked you were influenced by the show. Hardest thing ever to build was probably the earthquake shake table. That thing was a beast.
What happened to "Blow it up"? I need you to to blow up my math homework for me! 😂😂😂
I'm trying to find a new home for it. That was a fun web series.