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Here’s a double take at 7 Netflix shows where the stars take on their own stunts!

By InCinemas  /  16 Sep 2021 (Thursday)

From the scaling of skyscrapers to shoot-outs and fistfights, ever wondered what it takes to bring to life the daring stunts played out on screen? We go behind the scenes of some of Netflix’s most-loved films and series and round up the stars that took on the challenge of performing their own stunts.

Here are 7 Netflix shows where the stars take on most - if not all - of their own stunts - and why you have to catch them!


1. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is KATE. Continuing her streak of action blockbusters, having previously starred in Gemini Man and Birds of Prey, Kate marks the latest film where Mary Elizabeth Winstead takes on yet another series of increasingly complex stunts!

In order to do this, Winstead banked on a year’s worth of physical training prior to filming, working with the team at 87North on drills that incorporated Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. To elevate her gun work, she trained at Taran Tactical in Los Angeles and also received hands-on training in Thailand from people who were professional snipers in the military.

Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan also spoke about how the actress was the perfect fit for the titular character, sharing that “there was so much stunt work that needed to be done” and they “needed someone who would be committed to the physical work”.

Fun fact: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Miyavi shot the gripping kitchen fight scene without stunt doubles, and this was one of Mary’s favourite and most challenging sequences!

Watch KATE here.


2. Henry Cavill in The Witcher

Inspired by his former co-star on Mission: Impossible-Fallout, Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill noted the importance of performing his own action sequences in The Witcher. The Man of Steel heartthrob shared in a Variety interview that he’s always enjoyed the physical aspects of his roles, and this was no different for The Witcher.

Fun fact: In the later episodes of The Witcher: Season 1, the stunt team tackled elaborate sequences filmed over several days involving special rigs, wire-work, prosthetic suits and extensive special and visual effects, with one sequence culminating in Cavill performing a stunt that involved falling 6 metres through the floor.

The Witcher: Season 2 premieres on Netflix on December 17, 2021. Catch up on Season 1 here.


3. ‘Weir’ Sukollawat Kanaros in Bangkok Breaking

Netflix’s latest Thai series Bangkok Breaking promises to uncover a dark conspiracy hidden behind the facade of charity in Thailand’s capital throughout its 6 episodes. The show is set to expose viewers to a different side of Bangkok through the eyes of rescue volunteers - one of the city’s lesser-known distinctive aspects - as a massive criminal plot is unravelled piece by piece. ‘Weir’ Sukollawat Kanaros leads the line here as Wanchai, a new arrival in the city who immediately gets tangled in a web of deadly secrets (and a massive road accident to boot). 

For Bangkok Breaking, Weir joined a rescue service training in order to create the most realistic portrayal of Wanchai. Lessons ranged from life-saving skills such as CPR to even more complex techniques. He discovered how brave the people behind the Bangkok sirens are and how dedicated they are to helping others after learning about the world of rescue volunteers.

Fun Fact: Wanchai is a man who comes to Bangkok from a rural province, and Weir himself fits the bill precisely as a native of Khon Kaen, a province in the northeast of Thailand. His real-life passion for motorcycles also proved extremely handy on set when he decided to take on a high-speed action scene without relying on a stunt double, speeding away on a bike and dodging bullets with aplomb.

Bangkok Breaking launches globally on 23 September 2021, exclusively on Netflix.


4. Chris Hemsworth in Extraction

Chris Hemsworth is no stranger to action films. While he leaves the insane stunts to the experts, Chris Hemsworth reunited with his Marvel stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, director in Extraction, to bring the “most exhausting” film of his career, where he took on the role of Tyler Rake, a hardened mercenary, whose mission becomes a soul-searching race to survive when he’s sent into Bangladesh to rescue a drug lord’s kidnapped son.

Fun fact: Placing himself right in the middle of the action, stunt coordinator Hargrave was strapped precariously onto the hood of a Polaris Ranger 100 with a camera in his hand for The Oner.

Extraction is now available on Netflix.


5. Charlize Theron in The Old Guard

Much like her co-star, Chris Hemsworth, in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Charlize Theron is heavily invested in her stunts. In an interview with The Guardian, Extraction Director Sam Hargrave, who previously worked with her in Atomic Blonde, dubbed her as “the bravest actor” he knows, praising her for her grit and determination.

Once again, in The Old Guard, Charlize Theron shows her commitment to the role of Andy, one of the four undying warriors who have been secretly protecting humanity for centuries. In order to look like she had been using the axe-like weapon for thousands of years, Charlize Theron shared that she trained five days a week for about four months leading up to the start of shooting, doing a mixture of strength conditioning and combat training. She added that she had “never done any weapons training quite like this”, and that “it was really tough” as it involved a lot of techniques drawing from various different styles of combat.

Her weekly schedule included striking motions, throws, and weapon work on top of her martial arts training, that spanned Iaido and Kendo, Japanese arts of the sword; Silat, which is an Indonesian martial art with knife work and close-quarter handwork; Kali, a Filipino martial art which focuses on stick and knife work; Hungar, which uses an open hand and closed fist; a little bit of Wushu; some Korean Tae Kwon Do; Greco-Roman wrestling; Judo; and Jiu-Jitsu.

Fun fact: The knock-em-down fight sequence on the plane was the first scene shot in the entire film. Theron and Layne had trained separately, then came together about two weeks before filming to fine-tune the choreography.

The Old Guard is now available on Netflix.


6. Ju Ji-Hoon in Kingdom

The highly appraised horror-thriller Korean series, Kingdom captivated many and continued to be the talk of the town when the special episode Kingdom: Ashin of the North was released this year.

The action-filled series required a large amount of stunts from the cast, including Ju Ji-hoon, who plays the role of a crown prince and the Kingdom’s only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land. The action sequences were made extra challenging by the number of zombies involved in each scene.

Fun fact: Many of Ju Ji-Hoon’s fight scenes as Crown Prince Lee Chang were done as long takes to capture his complex emotions while attempting to save the people of Joseon from the infected.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Kingdom, as well as special episode Kingdom: Ashin of the North, are now available on Netflix.


7. Lee Si-young in Sweet Home

Former amateur competitive boxer and veteran action actress Lee Si-young has a charismatic side to her as she is affectionately dubbed as the irreplaceable queen of action in Korea. In the apocalyptic horror drama Sweet Home, Si-young takes on the role of Seo I-Kyung, a retired firefighter and special forces soldier who goes on to protect many others in the show against the incessant monster attacks while searching for her fiancé.

Fun Fact: Lee Si-young revealed that she had kept her body fat percentage to 8% to better perform her stunts and tone up her physicality, which meant having to make strict adjustments to her diet.

Sweet Home is now available on Netflix.
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