Stunt performers’ contributions to movies are often highlighted in memorable moments from those films, but the nature of the position means that their faces and names fade into the background in service of the story. Rarely does a stunt performer ever become a household name – especially if they’re a woman.
But now Michelle Rodriguez (Fast & Furious) is here to narrate a new documentary called Stuntwomen, which takes these powerhouse performers out of the shadows and (finally) puts them into the spotlight, giving them some much-needed praise and hopefully giving us some insight into the dangerous work they do to give some of our favorite movies unforgettable thrills and an extra level of realism. Check out the trailer below.
Directed by April Wright (Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace, Layover), Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story is based on author Mollie Gregory’s 2015 best-selling book of the same title, which chronicles the history of stuntwomen in Hollywood, from present day all the way back to when women were essentially forced out of the industry in the early days when men realized how profitable the movie world could be.
According to Deadline, it features interviews with the following stuntwomen: Julie Ann Johnson (Charlie’s Angels), Jadie David (Escape from L.A.); Jeannie Epper (Wonder Woman), Debbie Evans (The Fast and the Furious), Deven McNair (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Donna Evans (Total Recall), Donna Keegan (True Lies), Amy Johnston (Suicide Squad), Alyma Dorsey (Captain Marvel), Heidi Moneymaker (Captain America: Civil War), Keisha Tucker (Black Panther), Jessie Graff (Wonder Woman), Angela Meryl (Skyfall), Cheryl Lewis (Luke Cage), Jennifer Caputo (The Amazing Spider-Man), and Kelly Roisin (Venom).
This documentary should be considered Exhibit Z in the years-long battle to convince the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to introduce a stunt category at the Oscars, recognizing the incredible contributions of performers just like these. Will this doc meaningfully move the needle in that conversation? Eventually something has to be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, right? Who knows: maybe this will be it.
Here’s the official synopsis:
STUNTWOMEN: THE UNTOLD HOLLYWOOD STORY is the inspiring untold story about the unsung professionals, their struggles on screen to perform at the highest level, and their fight off-screen to be treated fairly and equally. The movie takes us behind-the-scenes and introduces us to the female stunt performers who drive the action and thrills of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies from the silent age of cinema to present day.
Stuntwomen will be available on digital on September 22, 2020.
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