Gorgeous Stunt Women You Don’t Want To Mess With

Stunt work is dangerous, but someone’s got to do it. Behind every great action film is a stuntwoman who risked her life to pull off dangerous feats we’d only dare to attempt if we’re playing video games. These action movie heroines (let’s be real, they’re the actual stars) have fearlessly pushed their bodies to the limit for the art of film.

These gorgeous stuntwomen are people you don’t want to mess with.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is one bad babe. The actress is undeniably talented. She won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her role in Monster, but she’s also a queen when it comes to action movies. Theron isn’t the kind of gal who has others stand in for her. When filming Atomic Blonde, the actress did nearly all of her own stunts.

According to Atomic Blonde stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, Theron did “98 percent of her own action, including fighting, running and those kinds of things.” Unfortunately, there’s a couple of things Theron couldn’t do for insurance reasons (mainly falling down stairs or swinging from a height), but there’s no doubt that if they let her, she would. The South-African star admitted that performing her own stunts has led to cracked teeth, bruised ribs and a twisted knee – but still, she’s fearless.

Zoë Bell

You may not have heard of Zoë Bell, but this New Zealander is a stunt legend and Quentin Tarantino’s go-to gal. Bell got her start working on the cult favorite Xena: Warrior Princess, where she was a body double for the legendary Lucy Lawless, but moved onto bigger and better things when Quentin Tarantino took her under his wing.

Bell served as a double for Uma Therman’s iconic character “The Bride” in Kill Bill: Vol 1 and Kill Bill: Vol 2. Her performance garnered her two Taurus World Stunt Awards nominations and two wins. Still, Bell’s success didn’t come without a cost. Her wrist doesn’t fully bend after an accident while filming the breakthrough role.

Olivia Jackson

Just because it’s Hollywood doesn’t mean it’s safe, and people often forget that stunt work is really, really, really dangerous. Olivia Jackson, a highly regarded and superbly skilled stuntwoman, risked everything for her craft. In 2015, the stuntwoman was standing in for Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter when she crashed into a metal camera arm while riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

Her left arm was left paralyzed after the incident and Jackson had to have it amputated after spending 17 days in a medically induced coma. The 35-year-old also had facial injuries and a punctured lung. She continuously goes under spinal operations after her spine was literally twisted.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson has been diving into the action and sci-fi space in recent years. She’s no longer just a romantic comedy star. Johansson seemingly has it all, a gorgeous voice, a gorgeous face, acting chops and the ability to absolutely slay when it comes to doing stunts.

Johansson has had pretty intensive roles in Avengers: Infinity War, Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Johansson admitted that she did most of her own stunts in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which included hanging 60 feet in the air and taking punches. Johansson also learned how to have a pretty good left hook.

Heidi Moneymaker

Scarlet Johansson may have done most of her own stunts, but she legally can’t do the insane stuff. Heidi Moneymaker can, and that’s who stepped in during Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Johansson tapped out. According to Johansson, Heidi did some pretty intense stunts which included having to jump 20 feet into the air and do four cartwheels.

Johansson isn’t the only person Moneymaker steps in for. She’s got credits in Furious 7 and some of the Hunger Games films. Curiously enough, the girl got her start on Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show, where she performed some of her first ever stunts way back in 1999.

Monique Ganderton

Though Charlize Theron does her stunts most of the time, sometimes it’s just way too dangerous. That’s when Monique Ganderton, an Edmonton-born stunt woman, steps up to the plate. Ganderton was a stunt double for Theron not once but twice in the same year. The pair worked together on Atomic Blonde and The Fate of the Furious. Ganderton also has some other massive credits including performing stunts in the final three Hunger Games movies and being Cara Delevigne’s stunt double in Suicide Squad.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Ganderton rose to the top – she was wildly athletic in her youth. Ganderton is a certified snowboard instructor and saw success in equestrian show jumping, track and field, diving, softball, figure skating, martial arts and gymnastics.

Alicia Vela-Bailey

Alicia Vela-Bailey isn’t just a successful actress – she’s a killer stunt double The actress has landed some of the most notable stunt work of the last ten years. Vela-Bailey is Wonder Woman – literally. She was Gal Galdot’s stunt double in the 2017 hit. She’s done everything from subbing for Jennifer Lawrence in an X-Men movie to being a literal Disney star (she did the stunts for Zendaya in K.C. Undercover). Just because she’s highly trained doesn’t mean her job isn’t sometimes a little scary. Vela-Bailey admits that she was nervous while filming Divergent, where she had to jump 66 feet.

“I was a bit nervous because I have never done a fall from that height before without a wire on,” she said. To land the jump, Vela-Bailey worked her way up. She started at 30 feet, moved onto 40 feet and eventually landed a 68 foot jump.

“When I finally made it to the height of 68 feet, I remember standing up there, looking down at my landing mark, which seemed a lot smaller than usual.” She said. “I could feel the cold wind blowing all around me. It even was moving the lift arm a bit. I [thought] to myself, All right, just breathe … you got this … now just do it! … jump! And off I went through the air.”

Sarah Lane

Not all stunt women shoot guns. Some spend years mastering how to move their body. Sarah Lane caused quite the controversy when she served as Natalie Portman’s stunt double in Black Swan and alleged the actress wasn’t actually dancing as much as directors let on.

Portman’s critically acclaimed performance landed her an Academy Award, and she was hailed as a genius for learning to dance at such a professional level in just a year and a half. However, Lane insisted that she actually did most of the dancing and they simply superimposed Natalie’s head on her body. Director Darren Aronofsky stood by his convictions and said Portman really did 80% of the dancing, but Lane was steadfast.

Lane should be proud of her accomplishments regardless of how much of the dancing she actually performed. Lane studied ballet most of her life and eventually became a soloist in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

Naomie Harris

Being a Bond Girl is one of the highest honors for an action hero and Naomie Harris didn’t disappoint. The actress performed her own stunts in Skyfall and spent a whopping three months training. During training Naomie learned shooting, combat fighting and driving – every Bond Girl’s essential skill set (besides wearing a sexy bikini).

Stunt coordinator Gary Powell admitted that Naomie had some pretty crazy stunts to do and the craziest found her behind the wheel. “She [had] to drive alongside the camera, keeping her mark and moving very fast,” he told Shape. If she can do that, we’d hate to see how Harris is in traffic.

Debbie Evans

There aren’t many six-year-old girls who decide to take up motorcycle riding, but Debbie Evans was always a tough chick. Some would say that Debbie Evans is Hollywood’s most legendary stuntwoman, but before that, she mercilessly worked her way up the ranks of motocross. She was competing by the age of nine, and in 1976, she became the first woman to ever rank as “expert,” slaying the men in competition.

Evans broke into stunt work when she started doing halftime shows at various stadiums. Her main trick was a headstand on the seat of a balancing motorcycle. Since then, she’s been inducted into the American Motorcyclist Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Stuntman’s Hall of Fame with credits in The Matrix Reloaded, Taxi and The Fast and the Furious.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is way more known for her comedic acting, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get down and dirty. The funny gal took a page out of Tom Cruise’s book when they worked together on the film Knight and Day. Cruise famously does all of his own stunts (at least the ones he’s legally allowed to perform), and Diaz followed suit.

Not only did Diaz do the fight scenes, which resulted in her getting covered in bruises during filming, she also did some stunt driving. That’s right: Cameron Diaz knows her way around a whip. We’re officially impressed.

Sierra Fisk

A Shakespearian actress-turned-stuntwoman? It’s an unlikely path, but that’s the life of Sierra Fisk, who went from playing Ophelia in Hamlet to performing stunts in Hollywood hits.

Fisk’s took the traditional path to success. She never skimped on her education and worked her way up. Fisk began her studies at the University of San Diego, where she nabbed a Theatre degree, before hopping abroad to the University of Kent, where she studied up for her roles in Hamlet and Pulp Shakespeare. Though she started in theatre, she’s best known for her work on TV. She’s nabbed roles on FXX’s The League, but her stunt work really shines in the action-packed Transformers franchise.

Cheryl Wheeler-Duncan

Cheryl Wheeler-Duncan was a teenage boxing champion who worked her way to stuntwoman stardom. The stuntwoman has done everything from filling in for Rene Russo in Lethal Weapon to stunt driving Jessica Alba in Spy Kids 4. While most of her stunts went off without a hitch, her career screeched to a halt when a 20-foot fall on the set of Back to the Future Part II went horribly wrong.

Wheeler-Duncan’s cable was accidentally released during a flying stunt and her face, arm and hand were shattered after hitting the concrete. She had to undergo five reconstructive surgeries but eventually returned to the business full-time. She even got her pilot’s license.

Gina Carano

Gina Carano didn’t start out as an actress. It definitely wasn’t part of her plan, but this tough as nails babe had undeniable skills when it came to mixed martial arts. It was because of these skills that the former UFC Strikeforce champion landed a role in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire.

Carano had her TV debut on American Gladiator, a reality series where athletes compete in contests of strength and agility. Carano slayed in her role as Crush, and her performance in Haywire wasn’t far behind. Fox proclaimed that the career-shifting star “gives any male action star a run for his money.”

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart isn’t a helpless, lovelorn teen – she just plays one in the movies. It turns out, she also plays a tough as nails fighter both on the screen and off. Kristen Stewart is best known for chasing a glittery vampire around the screen in a YA-novel turned million dollar box office hit, but she also performed her own stunts in Snow White and the Huntsman. If you haven’t seen the flick, it’s chock full of epic, intensive battle scenes. Stewart even admits that during filming she was thrown off cliffs and forced to trudge through icy water.

“It looks so cool, though. I can actually see the pain and discomfort on my face. It’s awesome,” she told Hollywood Life.

Cassandra McCormick

For almost 20 years, Cassandra McCormick has been doing stunts. The gorgeous stunt double has pretty big credits to her name. In 2017, she worked on 10 movies alone including Feud, where she was a stunt double for the iconic Jessica Lange, but that wasn’t the first time they worked together. McCormick was Lange’s body double in seven episodes of American Horror Story. She also filled in for Busy Philips in The Sackett Sisters and for Anne Ache in The Brave.

Cassadra’s work spans genres. It’s not just action movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Smokin’ Aces. She’s done teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars and classic sci-fi hits like Star Trek. Basically, there’s nothing McCormick can’t do.

Mariska Hargitay

There’s a reason Taylor Swift named one of her cats Oliva Benson – she’s a truly a powerful woman both on screen and off. Mariska Hargitay, the woman behind Law & Order: SVU’s main protagonist, is fearless, powerful and iconic. Hargitay performs her own stunts on set despite the major risk. In 2009, the actress suffered a partially collapsed lung after a stunt went wrong.

Just a few weeks later, she returned ready to try again. If that’s not determination, we’re not really sure what is. Is there anyone else you’d trust to flip a prostitution ring on its head or save an abused child?

Chloë Grace Moretz

Chloë Grace Moretz recently opened up about her time away from her beau Brooklyn Beckham. Though she admits she “wanted to hide” after the couple split, there’s nothing Moretz should be hiding from. In fact, people should be hiding from her because she’s a tough-as-nails chick who does her own stunts.

Moretz is seemingly fearless and nabbed an action star role in Kick-Ass at just 11 years old. Moretz trained with Jackie Chan’s stunt team and did all of her own stunts except for wall climbing (we can kind of see why they wouldn’t let an 11-year-old scale a giant wall).

Samantha Jo

This 26-year-old Canadian stuntwoman is a wonder woman. No, she’s not the Wonder Woman, but she definitely had a role in the hit 2017 film. Samantha Jo played Euboea alongside Gal Gadot. Though she’s got a few acting credits to her name, don’t be fooled. Jo may be a natural while she’s acting in action films, but that’s just because she’s a stuntwoman.

Jo was Kristen Stewart’s stunt double in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. She also subbed in for Ming Na Wen in 14 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She even does video game stunts, and her work can be seen in Resident Evil 6 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Joi “SJ” Harris

Joi Harris was known as the first African American woman to be licensed as a motorcycle road racer. She started riding in 2009 and in 2014 went professional. Harris even had her own racing team called Threader Racing.

In 2017, she was racing in her first ever shoot as a stunt woman, for the film Deadpool 2. Harris was doubling for actress Zazie Beetz, who was portraying a character called Domino. Tragically, Harris lost control of her bike during filming and was thrown into the side of a building. She died on the scene at just 40 years old.