Author Topic: Little film action for female stunt artistes  (Read 1830 times)


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Little film action for female stunt artistes
« on: April 26, 2015, 02:38:10 PM »

Bharti Dubey, May 1, 2011, 06.15am IST

While male stunt performers are scaling new heights in the film industry , job opportunities for their female counterparts have hit a plateau with more actresses preferring to do their own stunts .

Industry experts say the number of stuntwomen has reduced and many are forced to double up as junior artistes to earn a living . Stuntwoman Anu Ansari , who has been in the film industry for 15 years , says : "The volume of work has reduced considerably , so I take on small roles in films and television serials . I played the role of a maid in Ramgopal Varma's Phoonk 2.'' Safety is also an important concern , says the mother-of two, who prefers stunts like "rolling on the ground and jumping out moving cars" .

Geeta Tandon became a stuntwoman to support her family . Over the years she has jumped from building rooftops and performed hairraising stunts on bikes. She says , "It helps that I love action scenes , and when I was offered a job as a stuntwoman I jumped at it.''

But jobs are hard to come by as actresses prefer doing their own stunts . In fact , stars like Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif performed in their own action scenes for Don and Zindagi Mile Na Dobara respectively .

Chopra says : "I love the adrenaline rush . I did a lot of my stunts in Don including the fight with Shah Rukh Khan on top of the van. I learnt the Brazilian art form Capoeira for a TV commercial and Gakta—a Sikh martial art form—for Drona. I like bungee jumping , sky-diving and deep sea diving .'' It's little wonder , then , that this adrenaline junkie prefers to master her own stunts . Kaif learnt deep sea diving for her film Zindagi Mile Na Dobara, while Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu reportedly performed most of their own stunts in Dhoom 2.

Director of Dhoom 2 Sanjay Gadhvi said , "Aishwarya Rai is one brave actress . She actually jumped down with Hrithik Roshan into a 350-foot-gorge in Durban . Even Bipasha did her own stunt in the same film . She gets pushed off the wall of a fort ."

Sanober Pardiwala (24) is one of the few stuntwomen in Bollywood to have achieved recognition . It was Pardiwala—acting as Raiwho jumped of the cliff in the film Raavan. She says : "I have been nominated for the same stunt at the Taurus World Stunt award . I have also doubled for Kareena in Ra.One and Katrina in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan.''

Pardiwala says it was not the same when she joined the film industry at the age 12. "At the time , the attitude was more callous . You had to perform your stunts , and no one cared if you broke your leg or injured yourself . Today the set up is more professional and stunt artistes are respected . Actors take care of you ." But Pardiwala , too, does not rely only on stunt jobs. She is a practicing nutritionist and trainer for actors .

"Actors should allow us to do our jobs instead of getting injured and forcing shoots to be cancelled ,'' she says .