The adrenaline that action movies deliver to you is of quite some intensity. Fight sequences with perfection to jumping off of a high raised building; yes they’re very entertaining to watch. But what about who’s actually performing them? Any actor can hire a stunt double. However, there are a little over a handful that prefer to put in a 100% effort into the movies that they’re making. Find out which actors/actresses choose to do their stunts themselves.
The life of an actor may seem glamorous and a whole lot of fun but what we forget are the extreme workouts many of them put into their lifestyle to become fit for a movie. Even the sleep cycles are completely disrupted by the end of a production. And then, there are those who decide to leave their stunt doubles out and get down to the harsh and dirty work themselves. It’s a personal choice that they make and mainly because some believe that it makes the scenes more authentic and believable as their emotions become very close to real. So who are these stars that are willing to do so? Lets start with –
1. Angelina Jolie
She performs 99% of her own stunts. For her role in the action movie Salt, she reveals how performing these action scenes help her feel more connected to the character. For this movie alone, she started learning Muay Thai and Krav Maga. Two-hour sessions for three to four times a week were adjusted into her schedule. A couple of her action scenes include her firing a gun while diving through an opening door. In another scene, she had to walk on a narrow ledge atop a 12-storey building. While filming Maleficent too, Angelina Jolie preferred to be in charge of her stunts.
2. Harrison Ford
Everyone knows him for his blockbuster Indiana Jones series but did you know he did his own stunts that required him to dangle from helicopters and even crash cars into other buses? It’s true. He went through training during filming to be cautious of any accidents and put himself into the best shape since he wanted to do as much as he possibly could. When some of the most dangerous scenes had to be shot, he still denied his stuntman from stepping in. His stuntman was worried for good reasons about not getting paid.
3. Zoe Bell
Which stunt double did Uma Thurman work with in Kill Bill? Zoe Bell. She was so impressive that Quentin Tarantino wanted her for his next film because she was the perfect leading lady. She could handle her own stunts and leave an impact on the audience in Death Proof. She performed her own stunt driving and the daredevil was clinging to the hood of a moving Dodge Charger.
4. Jackie Chan
Most literally, this actor/stuntman has done it all! He is highly acclaimed for participating in Hollywood’s most known and extremely intense fighting scenes. No doubt, he’s called crazy for stunts that require him to roller skate under speeding trucks, base jump onto hot air balloons. That’s not even the end of it. What’s admired about him is how each one of his movies comes with a great sense of authenticity and bravery.
5. Kristen Stewart
While shooting Twilight, most of the stunts were completed by her but the challenge was Snow White and the Huntsman. She had to over come her fear of horses, was thrown off of cliffs and into icy waters and filmed fighting sequences with heavy armor. She admits how doing them herself, really showcases the discomfort needed for the scenes.
6. Jason Statham
Jason has been doing his very own stunts from the beginning of his career due to which, he is Hollywood’s go-to action star. He has starred in action movies such as Snatch, The Expendables and The Transporter. His reputation is known for always trying to outdo himself. It’s a sticky situation? Well he agrees. However, a dangerous mishap occurred while shooting Expendables 3 when he was driving a truck. He was supposed to drive a truck, get out and shoot. But the truck never stopped and crashed into the Black Sea with him still inside. Luckily he got out and swam to the top.
7. Tom Cruise
He has no plans on slowing down anytime soon when it comes to performing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible Series, Minority Report, War of the World’s and his upcoming movies. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol really stretched the limits he was willing to go. He pushed it to the max for this movie as he not only climbed, but also ran down the entire mirrored glass exterior of the Burj Khalifa building - 181- storey, 2,723- foot tall skyscraper. The tallest structure ever built. His stunt double was only used while testing out the safety rigging. Cruise performs mostly all of his stunts, even the risk taking ones.
8. Daniel Craig
It’s true James Bond fashion to perform your own stunts and that’s exactly what Craig did. The Telegraph claims that the stunts performed in Casino Royale by Craig have been deemed as the best James Bond stunts of all time. He states that he wanted to give all in – pun intended – and not only get fit to just take his shirt off. What was the stunt he did? Well it was during the opening scene of the 2006 film. He had to chase the bad guy into a building site, battle him while being 200 feet from the ground and then do a death-defying crane jump. Now that’s some determination.
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