Stunt doubles are the secret weapons to all of the biggest Hollywood films, the ones behind the action-packed scenes who risk their lives in order to give the audience something they will love. Some of them have even died risking it all. They get thrown 50 feet in the air, they jump off the top of skyscrapers. When a scene is too dangerous for an actor, they are the ones standing on the sidelines waiting to take over. Indeed, most of them are aware of how expendable they are.
Any given fight scene, one that may last no more than two minutes, could take months to film. Stunt doubles have to stay in peak condition at all times - most of them do some kind of martial arts - and undergo extensive training in vehicle driving, weaponry and more. Some stunt doubles are lucky enough to be written into actor’s contracts, following him or her around to each movie they are cast, and given access to the actor’s cooks, trainers, etc.
To be able to become a stunt double, you generally have to look somewhat like the actor, but that isn’t always the case. How much are they paid for their time? It can vary based on experience, but on average, stunt doubles pull in around $70K a year. Let us ask you this: is your life worth $70K? Would you risk it all? Maybe it's the rush they're after. Or maybe they hope to transition out of the stunts, and into the spotlight. The ones on this list certainly have the looks to succeed, and it may just be a matter of time, if they can survive.
15 Shauna Duggins as Melissa Benoist
14 Ky Furneaux as Cobie Smulders
13 Dejay Roestenberg as Krysten Ritter
Who would take on the broken and yet powerful Jessica Jones in this Netflix original? While the show doesn’t have as much action as some of the other superhero shows out there - Jessica Jones typically uses her detective skills as opposed to her superpowers - the show still needed to bring in a few stunt doubles from time to time. The main stunt double on the show was cutie Dejay Roestenberg, who not only doubled for Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones but is also her stunt double in the upcoming The Defenders, which is currently being filmed. The show will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage come together to take on crime in NYC.
12 Clay Donahue Fontenot as Robert Downey Jr.
Who is actually the man behind all of Iron Man’s fight and flying scenes? No other than Clay Donahue Fontenot, who was Robert Downey Jr.’s stunt double in The Avengers and Iron Man 2. He also doubled for Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx and has appeared in some major Hollywood blockbusters, from Batman v Superman to Fantastic Four to Django Unchained to Fast and Furious, the Blade movies and more. He has been hailed as one of the most "sought after" stunt performers in the industry.
11 Heidi Moneymaker as Scarlett Johansson
Here we have the real Natasha Romanova/Black Widow. Her name is Heidi Moneymaker and she is the one behind all of the action stunts, fights and explosions in Marvel’s Avengers (for the most part). Her body is certainly a marvel (get it?). She’s super fit and that is precisely why she is on this list. It’s also why she was probably able to land the coveted role of Scarlett Johansson’s stunt double in the first place, along with the fact that she shares Johansson’s famous curves. Indeed, in order to be considered as a stunt double, you have to have a similar body to the actor/actress to begin with. Of course, Moneymaker also has an impressive resume that has helped her earn a reputation for being one of the best. She does martial arts, stunt driving and can handle weapons better than The Terminator.
10 Ingrid Kleinig as Margot Robbie
9 Colin Follenweider as Paul Rudd
8 Bobby Holland Hanton as Chris Hemsworth
Bobby Holland Hanton is as accomplished as they come when it comes to stunt doubles. Some say that he is even as handsome as his shadow, Chris Hemsworth. He is basically Marvel’s go-to stunt double for all of their superheroes, whether it’s Hemsworth’s Thor or Chris Evans' Captain America (he doubled for both!). With those muscles, it's easy to see why. Holland Hanton is also currently in Hemsworth’s contract, which means that wherever Hemsworth goes, Holland Hanton goes too. Holland Hanton really scored.
7 Chloe Bruce as Zoe Saldana
6 Leo Woodruff as Benedict Cumberbatch
5 Sam Hargrave as Chris Evans
4 Sophia Crawford as Sarah Michelle Gellar
3 Alicia Vela-Bailey as Gal Gadot
2 Amy Johnston as Scarlett Johansson
1 Elsa Pataky as Natalie Portman
Yes, Natalie Portman was deemed one of the most beautiful women in the world from a scientific perspective, but have you seen Chris Hemsworth’s wife Elsa Pataky (probably, at least if you’ve seen any of the recent Fast and Furious movies - she plays Elena Neves). The Spanish supermodel and actress is absolutely stunning. Do you remember the passionate kissing scene in Thor: The Dark World, the final scene? That wasn’t actually Portman - it was Hemsworth's real-life wife, Elsa Pataky. She wasn’t Portman’s stunt double by any means, but she did step in for that particular scene. But don't chop it up to jealousy or drama. Portman just had business to attend to and wasn't able to make it to Hong Kong to film the scene, which is why they threw a wig on Pataky and that was that. Portman later explained that their real-life romance was why the kiss was so passionate!
Sources: CBSNews, DailyMail, HollywoodReporter, IMDb
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