We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Stunt Performer?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A stunt performer is a specialized actor who is trained to perform a variety of dangerous stunts. He or she may take the place of regular actors in a film or television production for safety when such stunts are required, and stunt performers are typically the people used in fight scenes and other dangerous situations on set. In addition to stunt performers, it is also possible to find stunt coordinators, trained stunt performers who actually choreograph stunts, along with specialists who work on things like pyrotechnics, safety equipment, and so forth.

Working as a stuntman or stuntwoman is definitely demanding, and the best stunt performers have a range of skills, although some choose to specialize in something very specific, like stunt driving. Many draw upon their own life skills and experience, turning hobbies into a full time carrier. Stunt performers are typically brought onto a production early, chosen on the basis of their skills and experience, and they may meet with the production team to talk about which stunts are doable, and the best ways to do them.

When a stunt performer is asked to perform a stunt, he or she looks at the situation and works out the safest and most effective way to perform the stunt. Stunt performers often work in groups, drawing on each other's experience and skills to ensure that stunts go smoothly, and they work closely with the lighting, camera, and safety crews to keep their stunts looking real and to make sure that they will fit in with the finished film or television show.

Many stunt performers work as body doubles or stand-ins, chosen because they look similar to leading actors. These stunt doubles replace actors in scenes where they could be in danger, and they are often kept on-set at all times in case they are needed. A stunt performer may do a range of things, from skydiving to setting him or herself on fire, and all of these tasks require special skills and training which are beyond the abilities of most actors, although many actors are eager to do as many of their own stunts as possible to develop their skills.

While stunt performers place a heavy emphasis on safety, their work is still extremely dangerous, especially when they are performing stunts which have never been done before. As a result, stunt performers tend to be very well-compensated for their work, and they usually belong to professional organizations which assist injured or permanently disabled stunt performers, ensuring that they have a support network in the event of an accident.

Becoming a stunt performer is hard work. The market is often heavily saturated, so an aspiring stunt performer should plan on developing formidable athletic and technical skills. It can help to train under another stunt performer to get on-set experience and connections, but ultimately, a great deal of self-motivation and marketing skills are needed.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PublicPeople researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By momothree — On Jan 02, 2011

@oceanswimmer: Harrison Ford also does most of his own stunts. In the “Indiana Jones” movies, he did his own stunts. He has crashed a car into a bus and even dangled from a helicopter. He was quoted as saying “I have picked up plenty of bumps, bruises, and cuts over the years”.

Another actor that does their own stunts is the infamous Jackie Chan. He is the most well-known and talented martial arts stuntmen known. He said he did a lot of stunt training for his films.

By christym — On Dec 31, 2010

@oceanswimmer: There are many actors/actresses that perform their own stunts. One of my favorites is Angelina Jolie. She loves to impress her impressive brood and her stunts makes that happen. She has jumped from moving cars and has been hanging off of a building. She loves doing her stunts for the challenge and also to keep her in fit shape.

By OceanSwimmer — On Dec 29, 2010

Do any actors do their own stunts?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.