BAMF Of The Week: Stunt Doubles/Zoë Bell

Jackie Chan says: "They have those??"
So Michael Madsen got a month of being a BAMF, but hey, the dude deserves an appreciation month. In the theme of unsung heros of the action movie: stunt doubles. Those fucking crazy men and women who don't have to be told to jump off a bridge, they'd gladly do it anyway. We've tossed them off buildings, tied them into exploding cars, stabbed them, shot them, and then edited out their faces. Granted, being a stunt double isn't quite the job it used to be, what with technology doing half the work for us these days. And there are those few brave actors who will suffer a couple bumps and scratches for the sake of their work (even if they complain bitterly about their booboo afterwards). But at the end of the day, these are the people who give us that thrill, that final adrenaline kick when you see the bad guys go up in smoke or the good guys just barely make it out alive. 

Image from Lisa Mansy photography.
Instead of hunting down a couple excellent stuntmen and women, I'm just going to spotlight my lady Zoë Bell. Now that is one feisty fucking Kiwi. She started off her career as a professional badass in the nerd wet dream show Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), but then graduated quickly once she caught the attention of a certain Quentin Tarantino. She's become a regular on his set, doubling Uma Thurman in both Kill Bills and then coming back for Inglourious Basterds (2009). But her best by far is her role in the one and only Death Proof (2007). We got to see her act, which was fun, playing herself, Zoë the stunt double. But the movie really kicks into gear as soon as she climbs up on the hood of a white 1970 Dodge Challenger and straps in for the ride. Never before has a car chase had be holding my breath like this one does, as you watch Zoë skid back and forth over the hood, trying desperately to hang on. She is completely endearing, sexy as hell, and above all, fucking fearless. Zoë the Cat, keep rockin'. 

Best films: Death Proof (2007), hands down.

Worst films: Gamer (2009). I actually enjoyed this movie, but they slapped her in it for literally about two seconds. C'mon, you can give her a little more than that.

Best moments: I don't think life can get any better after you've been rode the top of a Vanishing Point car.

Upcoming films: Apparently she's lined up for a movie next year called Baytown Disco (2012) with Billy Bob Thornton. Who'da thunk? The tag line is "a southern whup ass extravaganza", so that sounds about right to me.


  1. Great write-up! Love Zoe Bell! Did you see Angel Of Death? She is awesome in that.

  2. Thanks! I'm actually glad you mentioned Angel of Death, because I haven't seen it, but I wasn't sure it was worth seeing. Now that it's got one positive comment, I may have to actually check it out!

  3. She was great in Death Proof.
    It's good to see a post on stunt doubles, they don't get nearly enough attention...

  4. I loved Lisa in Death Proof - her character was my absolute favorite. Honestly said, I had no idea she was doubling Uma Thurman in both Kill Bill films. Now I like her even more.:)

  5. Zoe Bell is the goddess of my idolatry. I have worshipped her since the Kill Bills and most especially Death Proof. Tracey Thoms rocked it too, though not like Zoe. That car chase is one of the best ever in my opinion. Worthy of the Vanishing Point Dodge Challenger.

  6. @ Jack--My thought exactly! She really did own Death Proof.

    @ Nebular--I agree! It's always great to find out new little tidbits about awesome people. She really has a lot of kickass going for her.

    @ Melissa--Word--the woman is ridiculously badass! Tracey Thoms is also very dear to me heart (I love Rent, tell no one), and she completely killed her role (or maybe it's just her fantastic laugh). But in the end, it's hard to beat a woman on top of a car. And, of course, the Vanishing Point car just made it 100 times better.

  7. Stellar choice, M.

    I was shocked to see that Baytown Disco wasn't directed by the Hustle and Flow/Black Snake Moan guy.

    Then I got distracted because Serinda Swan's in that flick, too. Look her up...

  8. Thanks! And that's true, he seems to have a fetish for those kinds of movies.

    And...definitely looked up Serinda Swan. I have a new reason to be excited about this movie.


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