Brian “Sonny” Nickels was an English actor and stuntman born on August 17, 1965 and died on January 15, 2020, who was well-known for his artistic contribution to Bridgerton, Wonder Woman, and other TV shows and movies. His involvement in Bridgerton earned him a special tribute on the post-credits of the season finale of Bridgerton season one.
Brian Nickels was loved by the cast of the American historical fiction-romance streaming TV series. It was no surprise then that his death of a heart attack on January 15, 2020, hit a little too close to home for the cast and crew of the series. The tribute that came in the post-credits at the end of the first season of the series was designed to honor his memory, as well as keep it alive for the rest of time. Here’s what we know about Brian Nickels and why Bridgerton chose to honor him with a tribute.
Who Was Brian Nickels?
Brian Nickels was an Englishman through and through. He was born in Kilburn, North-West London, England, on August 17, 1965, although spent a lot of time across the Atlantic from his home country of England.
Details of his early life are speculative at best and do not necessarily convey any idea of who the members of his birth family are, including his parents and any siblings he might have had. Comparably, details of his formal educational background remain a mystery.
Before venturing into Hollywood, several reliable sources, including the late stuntman himself, have confirmed that he was a professional boxer. That aspect of his life has yet to be elaborated on but it continued well into his 20s until his retirement at the age of 25.
Was Brian Nickels a Stunt Performer?
Brian Nickels as a stunt performer. After retiring from professional boxing, he sought to put his knowledge of hand-to-hand combat and other forms of martial arts to productive use, and Hollywood provided a perfect market for his services.
The late Englishman spent over two decades of his existence as a stuntman in the movie industry. As previously stated, his endeavors in the industry began almost right after he called time on his boxing career.
The last more than a quarter of a century of his life was spent working as a stunt performer in movies and TV series such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Killing Eve, Jurassic World, Wonder Woman, Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne, Bridgerton, and a whole lot more.
Nickels was famous for earning the love, respect, and adulation of the people he worked with, including actor Matt Damon who described the late stuntman as a consummate professional and a joy to work with. Those sentiments were aptly echoed by his wife and others who described him as one of the hardest-working professionals they have had the privilege of working with.
Brian Nickels was a Stunt Coordinator in Bridgerton
The first season of Bridgerton gave Brian Nickels the privilege to feature in the prominent role of the stunt coordinator. It handed him the added responsibility of being in charge of the other stunt performers in the series, as well as structuring the stunts in the series.
And boy, did he do his job well! Nickels got to work with Martins Imhangbe, the actor who portrayed the character Will Monarch in the series, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the late stuntman’s time on the set, particularly where it concerned him.
While penning a tribute to the actor on his Instagram, he wrote about how much Brian had positively impacted his life through positive reinforcements and how much of an incredible coach and friend he was to him. Ideally, that sentiment was shared by a whole lot more of the people involved in the making of the first season of the series.
What Caused Brian Nickels’ Death?
Brian Nickels died of a heart attack in his West London home on January 15, 2020. He was 54 years old. The entire business of the tribute he received in Bridgerton was because of his death.
The unexpected manner of his death was what made it even more heartbreaking for his fans and his colleagues. The late stuntman is survived by his wife Simone and their two children, Sienna and Rocco.
A GoFundMe account was set up after his death to support his primary beneficiaries, in this case, his wife and children. The generosity displayed by everyone who chipped into the account was such that at the close of the fundraiser, the amount raised was just over £35,000.
Brian Nickels’ Bridgerton Tribute
Anyone who managed to get to the end of the first season of Netflix’s Bridgerton would have noticed that the season one finale was dedicated to Brian Nickels. That tribute was in recognition of everything the English stuntman did to make the show as entertaining, dramatic, and emotional as it was.
The eulogies that followed were nothing short of inspirational and aptly depicts the level of influence and impact Nickels had on the lives of all those he worked with. Other than actor Martins and his wife Simone, stuntman Sofian Francis was also quick to point out how the time he spent with Nickels positively affected him.
List of Brian Nickels’ Movies and TV Shows
More than twenty-five years in the movie industry afforded Brian Nickels enough time to rack up more than several dozen movies and TV series credits both as a stuntman and an actor. Yes, you read it correctly. While Brian’s acting credits are not as celebrated as his stuntman duties, the relative lack of recognition of his craft in that regard does not make him any less of an actor.
Having gotten that out of the way, below is a selected list of Brian Nickels’ career credits in the movie industry, both as an actor and a stuntman.
Brian Nickels’ Movies and TV Series as an Actor
- 1990 – The Krays as Frank
- 1997 – London’s Burning as Brian (1 eps)
- 2002 – Capone’s Boys as Bruno
- 2007 – The Golden Compass as Gobbler
- 2008 – Fifth Street as Keane
- 2016 – Breakdown as Moses
- 2017 – Taboo as Luis (2 eps)
- 2019 – Whiskey Cavalier as Bruiser
- 2020 – Unlucky Number 7 as Chris; Dad
Brian Nickels’ Movies and TV Series as a Stuntman
- 1998 – Merlin
- 2003 – Cold Mountain
- 2009 – Sherlock Holmes
- 2014 – Guardians of The Galaxy
- 2015 – Spectre
- 2016 – The Legend of Tarzan
- 2016 – Ben-Hur
- 2016 – Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
- 2017 – Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- 2017 – The Foreigner
- 2018 – Deep State
- 2019 – The Last Christmas
- 2020 – Dolittle
- 2021 – F9: The Fast Saga
- 2021 – Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard