Photo courtesy of Tom Prigg
Did you see that SWAT member in the background of a scene where a young woman is being held hostage in Netflix’s recently premiered show "Mindhunter"? Well, he’s from Southwestern Pennsylvania and he’s running for U.S. Congress.
Tom Prigg, of McCandless, currently works as a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University, but has been moonlighting as a stuntman and extra in films and TV shows since 2010. He is currently running as a Democrat, along with three other challengers
, against U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus
(R-Sewickley) in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district. As a former sniper in the U.S. Army, he says he was recruited to play a sniper in "Mindhunter," which was filmed in Pittsburgh and other surrounding communities, but that scene was cut. So he stepped in as an extra as a SWAT member instead, and participated in a scene filmed in Braddock.
“The SWAT stuff was easy for me because of the military background,” says Prigg.
Image courtesy of Netflix
Prigg says he was officially trained for high-level stunts in 2016, and this May he actually took part in a stunt on another set, where he was hit by a car (see video below). “I got hit by a car, but it turned out to be far easier than I thought it was going to be. But at one point I did miscalculate where the pad was gonna be,” he jokes.
Prigg is hoping to use his appearance on the new Netflix show to start a more in-depth conversation on gun safety with constituents in the 12th, which spans from Beaver County, through the north section of Allegheny County and east to Johnstown
in Cambria County.
“I want to talk more about gun safety,” says Prigg. “I am trying to hear the different opinions and get away from the narrative associated with the [National Rifle Association].”
As a former sniper in the 82nd airborne division of the Army, Prigg says he’s not advocating for the eradication of guns, but wants the gun-safety narrative
to focus on things he believes most Americans can agree on. He says most Americans feel that people with a history of domestic violence should not have access to guns and he thinks there should be a ban on bump-stocks (devices that increase firing frequency of guns to resemble automatic weapons).
Prigg is currently reaching out to hunting groups in the 12th district and will be speaking with U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts), who is a veteran and one of the chamber’s strongest voices on gun-control.
Prigg will be holding a town hall event in Johnstown on Oct. 26 from 7-9 p.m. at the Bulldog Arena. He says topics will be determined by the audience, but he expects to talk about the opioid crisis, health care, the economy and gun laws.