Celebrities leave it to stunt doubles to take on the dangerous roles in films. We give you a glimpse of the ‘other’ actors you may have missed on screen
Aja Frary has some pretty big shoes to fill, but this self-proclaimed tom-boy matches up to the celebrities she doubles up for. Her Korean, African-American and Irish ethnicity lends her an exotic look making it ideal for Frary to step in for the likes of Hilary Swank in PS: I Love You, as well as actors in The Dark Knight Rises, The Wolf of Wall Street and Iron Man 3. Her latest act will see her playing the stunt version of Megan Fox’s April O’Neil in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then as a double for Meagan Good in Babylon Fields.
Besides working on television shows like Gladiators and Rescue Special Ops, Ingrid Kleinig has made her way to the big screen, slowly but surely. She doubled up for the role of Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly in the elaborate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and will reprise her stunt role for the character in the upcoming The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, later this year. Kleinig is also the stunt alternate for Radha Mitchell’s Bronny Taylor thriller 6 Miranda Drive and will play a part in Mad Max: Fury Road too.
He’s been part of stunt teams since 1988 but perhaps Richard Bradshaw’s claim to fame is that he’s the stunt replacement for Hugh Jackman, who is also his brother-in-law (Jackman’s sister’s husband). From being Van Helsing to every Wolverine that Jackman has played till date (and even Valjean in Les Misrables), Bradshaw is a usual on action sets including Jack Ryan, Bond films, Marvel and DC film adaptations and recently, Game of Thrones. He’s played Guy Pierce, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Needless to say, Bradshaw will give his expertise on the set of Warcraft as well as do motion capture for the game-turning-film. Apparently, he was first a diver on an oil rig before becoming a stuntman in Hollywood.
Lights, camera, action
Safe to say that with his show reel and credits on action film, David Leitch is quite the Godfather of Hollywood stunts. Apart from being an actor (he was in The Mechanic and The Bourne Supremacy, among others), Leitch is a stunt actor and producer/coordinator, working with big wigs like Hayden Christensen and Matt Damon while teaming up with names like Len Wiseman and The Wachowski Brothers for stunts and action sequences. He was a stunt double for Brad Pitt five times (in Troy, Mr and Mrs Smith, Fight Club, Ocean’s Eleven and Spy Games) and twice for the king of action, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Leitch and his crew have won the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble for The Bourne Ultimatum and nominated in the category for their work in 300. Leitch dated Maggie Q and even helped with stunts on her show Nikita.
Knight in armour
He’s only 29 years old and already Bobby Holland Hanton has starred in films like The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Thor: The Dark World. Ideal as the stuntman for Chris Hemsworth, Hanton was in Snow White and the Huntsman and will be seen in action sequences of Hemsworth’s next, Heart of The Sea. He has played the part of Batman, James Bond, Captain America and Sherlock Holmes and fills in for Channing Tatum in the upcoming Jupiter Ascending. Hanton also doubles for David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres in adverts.