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Veteran Stunt Performers Make Their Case For Why The Academy Should Recognize ‘Best Stunt’ At The Oscars




A stunt in the film
A stunt in the film "Fast Five", coordinated by stuntman Jack Gill

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After more than 40 years in the film industry, stuntman Jack Gill knows a little something about taking a fall. Or a punch. Or crashing a car. And he’s one of a growing number of stunt performers and coordinators who think it’s about time that they get their due on the biggest stage of them all: The Oscars.

Jack has racked up 177 credits in his career, according to IMDB, for his work performing and coordinating stunts for several of the “Fast and Furious” films as well as others like “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” just to name a few. And for almost three of the four decades he’s been performing and coordinating stunts, he’s been making his case to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to add a category for “Best Stunt” to the Oscars.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Gill said that at first The Academy seemed eager to help, but that their interest and willingness to meet with him has waned over the years. He argues that today, stunts and their performers are more visible than ever, given the frequency with which superhero and high-octane action movies come out these days. And some argue that if special effects get their own awards category at the Oscars, stunts should have their own category as well.

So, why hasn’t the Academy created one yet? Even Gill isn’t sure. He admits in his interview with Vulture that he’s long wondered whether the stereotype that stunt performers and coordinators are more of the blue-collar workers of the film industry and not really technicians or artists of the filmmaking craft.

Today on AirTalk, Larry Mantle sits down with Jack Gill and fellow veteran stunt performer and coordinator Julie Michaels to talk about what makes stunt work Oscar-worthy and why the Academy hasn’t added the category already. If you’re a stunt performer or coordinator, do you think there should be an Oscar category recognizing stunt performers and coordinators? We want to hear from you at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Jack Gill, stuntman and stunt coordinator with over 40 years of experience in the film industry; he has been a stunt double for Jason Statham, Chris Evans and Dennis Quaid and his film credits include stunts and coordination for movies like “Venom,” (2018), “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” (2017), “Fast Five,” (2011) “The Hangover Part III” (2013) and stunts on films like “Knight Rider” (1982) and “The Dukes of Hazzard” (1979)

Julie Michaels, actor and stunt woman; her film and TV career spans more than 30 years and her acting and stunt credits include films like “Road House” (1989), “Point Break,” (1991) and “Titanic” (1997) and TV series like “Southland,” “Jane the Virgin,” and “Nashville”