It has now become a fashion statement for actors to do their own stunts. Of course, it’s also been one for a while. Or it went out of fashion, and it’s suddenly back in; either way, it’s hard to follow.
However, doing your own stunts is rare amongst popular actors, and that’s for a reason. It’s dangerous and, considering all the insane action sequences in stories nowadays, quite challenging.
Between lunging from moving vehicles, swinging around skyscrapers, and acting against giant, CGI, metal robots, stunt work is generally left to the professional look-a-likes. The actors and actresses who do perform their own work, however, are living legends.
The top 10 actors who perform their own work seem to be universally known in the U.S. Jason Statham performed crazy car driving stunts in a Death Race 2000 remake. Burt Reynolds rolled out of a canoe into raging river waters in Deliverance, while Tom Cruise performed all the stunt work for his Mission Impossible franchise, much to the dismay of his co-workers at the time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became famous for his own stunts, but the main reason he did this was because no stunt doubles could be found in his appearance or size. And of course, let’s not forget Harrison Ford, America’s Indiana Jones.
Getting more in touch with the feminine side of this spectrum, Angelina Jolie is quite famous for jumping out of cars and climbing up the sides of buildings herself. But the real legend of actors who perform their own stunt work is someone everyone should know despite the age catching up to him: Jackie Chan.
Martial artist expert, Chan first planned to work with the Peking Opera, but he became famous in the world of film for his authentic Chinese fighting style, rising to become one of the most famous actors in American history. He also sings. Talk about a rounded man.
Although doing your own stunts is impressive, sometimes it’s fun hearing about the stunt work between a double and our favorite actors. Take Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go, The Social Network), who has been filming the Spider-man reboot for a while now.
Garfield may be dashing and flexible because of a gymnastic background, but even he needs a stunt double to tackle people through the air.
A recent photo released shows his double doing just that. The most interesting part of this photo was seeing Garfield sitting in the backseat of a car right in the action scene, waiting for his double to finish a tackling flip so he could pop out and continue the act.
People often wonder why doing your own stunt work is so cool. Maybe because it shows that as an actor, their ‘role playing’ skills aren’t all there is to them, and they are ‘not all that meets the eye,’ as Optimus
Prime would say. Seeing actors really take a hit for their film’s production must be exciting, and who knows.
Perhaps with the filming industries addiction to stunt doubles, people who do the heavy-duty work on screen could start taking over the acting world.
They definitely deserve some on-screen credit.