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I’ve Got Nothing But Respect For Actors That Do Their Own Stunts

Tom Cruise Margot Robbie And Jackie Chan Stunts
Paramount Pictures

“There are explosions and guns firing. And even though they’re blanks, your body starts reacting as if it’s real, your adrenaline’s through the roof.”

Margot Robbie (British Vogue)

Margot Robbie recently did an interview with British Vogue in which she talked about how her body now reacts like it’s “been in a war zone” after filming action stuns, and that despite intense sequences sending the “Suicide Squad” star’s adrenaline “through the roof,” Robbie still wants more women working on stunt-heavy films.

This got me thinking about all the actors that go the extra mile and actually do their own stunts, and I wanted to take some time to highlight these courageous stars.

Tom Cruise

I think we all knew that this one was coming … The actor is famous for almost always doing his own stunts, no matter how dangerous. From climbing the world’s tallest building to hanging off the side of a plane to pulling off perhaps one of the most dangerous helicopter chases ever captured on film, Cruise is always finding new ways to top himself. And he’s not stopping anytime soon.

What’s crazy to me is how committed he is to doing all that Ethan Hunt sets out to do — climbing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai with nothing but a harness seems genuinely horrifying, and it is, yet there’s Tom Cruise treating it like it’s just his average Monday. You guys remember when he jumped out of that plane right? Yep… talk about commitment.

More than that, Cruise is constantly walking out of set with bruises and/or fractures, but has that ever stopped him? Nope, the actor is perfectly fine with taunting death right in the face for the sake of the perfect shot, and I’m not sure if that merits respect or a scolding, maybe both?


Margot Robbie

I know it’s kind of cheap to go back to Robbie despite already mentioning her at the beginning, but Robbie deserves mention after all the effort she’s made to pull off the most incredible stunts.

Harley Quinn is constantly running around, dodging gunfire and explosives in high-stakes films like “Suicide Squad” and “Birds of Prey.” Anytime Harley Quinn is off kicking ass and saving lives, that’s all Robbie.

“There are explosions and guns firing. And even though they’re blanks, your body starts reacting as if it’s real, your adrenaline’s through the roof,” Robbie said.

In fact, Robbie has had a hard time sleeping and adjusting to life after shooting because her body is constantly feeling as if she’s still in those high-stakes scenes long after the camera stops rolling. Despite it, however, Robbie says she’ll never want to quit doing stunts — she says that not only are stunt scenes “really fun,” but she says they’re also a very lucrative space, one that she says women should keep on trying to occupy.

“Those scenes, where everything’s exploding around you, and you make it just in time,” are “really, really fun,” Robbie said. “From a business or statistical standpoint, those are the high-paying jobs. So I really want to advocate for women writing big blockbuster action films.”

Flashback FilmMaking

Jackie Chan

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to highlight the most iconic actor, one who is, according to him, “expected” to do his own stunts… it’s Jackie Chan. The 67-year-old martial arts expert has actually admitted he completes his own action moves “90 percent” of the time because he thinks using a stunt double would only leave his fans feeling disappointed.

As someone who has done stunts for years, Chan now considers them “easy.” Moreover, Chan has trained with the same group of stunt doubles since his most early days, and their relationship goes so far back, he now considers them his brothers.

Chan was almost burned alive in “Drunken Master” after insisting on reshooting a scene involving scalding, hot coals, he almost fell to his death in “Project A” and he got knocked off a train by a helicopter in “Police Story 3: Super cop.” That scene, by that way, did not go as planned, as the helicopter ended up hitting Chan in the back, fracturing his ribs, breaking his shoulder and dislocating his cheekbone.

Lastly, Chan chose to run down a building without wearing any gear or harnesses. This stunt has long been dubbed “the most dangerous stunt in cinema” and for good reason. We give props to Tom Cruise for scaling a building, so we gotta do the same for someone deciding to run down it.

Chan has long played jump rope with death, and though his films always look incredible, and my respect for him has long transcended past what was known to be humanly possible, I do always hope he wakes up ok.

Nelson Fabián Villarreal

Actors that aren’t brave enough to defy death, not to worry, I still think you’re all great, but you gotta give credit to those actors who truly commit to the role and go the extra mile (or height?)

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