5 things I’ve learned as a stunt woman in Hollywood

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  • Amanda Foster is an award-winning British stuntwoman and actress who has doubled for stars such as Halle Berry, Beyonce and Naomie Harris. She spoke to Marie Claire about what she's learned over her career

    Being a stunt woman takes a mental effort too

    You are forcing your body to do something that your brain is screaming at you not to do. I have to mentally prepare myself for every stunt – although it’s hard, I love that I’m taking control and completing each role to the best of my ability. Jumping on top of Brad Pitt and trying to bite his face off while filming World War Z was hard work, but hey… someone’s got to do it!

    I’ve never let my age or my background limit me

    I decided to become a stunt woman after discovering that there were no female, black stunt performers in the UK – I trained for six years whilst bringing up three children as a single mother. It was tough but I’ve always been very creative, and constantly pushed myself to get to where I am today.

    We’re all made up of the same parts

    My job constantly reminds me that I am flesh, blood and bone – and yes, at times it hurts! As a stunt woman I use body pads to protect myself as much as possible, but it all depends on the costume. Many times I’ve had to make do with a small pad to protect the bottom of my spine and little else. In order to be prepared for the job I really have to look after myself!

    stunt woman

    Amanda Foster is currently working with No7 on their new Restore and Renew skincare campaign

    The dressing-up part is just as fun

    I’m a real girly girl, I love to dress up and there is plenty of that in this job. I’ve worked on the Harry Potter and James Bond films – I also love period dramas and the elaborate costumes and wigs that come with them. All in all, the world of make-believe isn’t a bad place to work!

    As a stunt woman, you have to be fully present and aware of the action

    It is a dangerous occupation and I always try to live in the moment. Take a stair fall for instance – I’ve done several over the years but each one is unique and has to be thought through. A personal favourite would be the fall I performed doubling as Natalie Gummede on Coronation street!

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