Dayna Grant on Life As A Stuntwoman
Kiwi stuntwoman Dayna Grant has “worked as a double for A-list actors including Charlize Theron and Tilda Swinton during her thrilling 20-year career, but to the easy-going Kiwi, it’s all in a day’s work,” writes Suzanne Bearne for The Guardian.
Grant spent nine months in the Namibian desert as Oscar-winning Charlize Theron’s double in Mad Max: Fury Road.
“I lived and breathed that film. We became the characters. I had to shave my head. Everyday we were pumped into our characters. The whole film was a stunt from start to end – I was flying, running, sliding under a moving truck, hanging out the side of a truck door,” said Grant.
Stunting is about a lot more than jumping out of buildings, according to the article.
“Our job is to train the actor. In some jobs we train with the actor every day. We’re with them the whole time, and any time they have downtime we are training ourselves to make sure we’re fit for the scenes,” said Grant.
She explained that you usually get three months before filming start to “practise whatever skill is in the film”.
When she first started stunting with 18 she knew “nothing about the profession.” Even though she was a gymnast and horse rider, she didn’t expect to get the job, when she “was asked to audition to be a stuntwoman in cult hit TV show Xena: Warrior Princess”.
“I was thrown into it and it was pretty full on,” she says. “I was fighting, stunt riding and catapulting through the air,” she said.
Grant, who met her husband on the set of Mad Max admits it’s an usual career. She recalls when her son – today a stunt performer as well, came back from school one day:
“‘I’ve just realised you’re not a normal mum. Most mums drink tea and sit on the couch. You jump off buildings and set yourself on fire’. He had thought that was normal, actually.”
Article Source: The Guardian, Suzanne Bearne, September 4, 2016
Image Source: Youtube