Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Angela Meryl - Stunt Lady

(C) 2013 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.
Angela Meryl - Stunt Lady

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
By Rych McCain, www.twitter.com/rychmccain and Facebook

Angela Meryl

Hollywood Stunt Woman Extraordinaire!

Photos RMMS

     The world of professional Hollywood stunt people is an area of the TV, Commercials and Film business that is so far in the background that it rarely receives any attention from the press or public. When was the last time you saw an incredible stunt preformed in a movie and was able to call the stunt person’s name who did it? Performing stunts is a fascinating but dangerous line of work that requires natural athletic talent, specific training, awareness of your body and surroundings while being on top of every detail of the stunt. One of the best of the best in the Hollywood stunt business is Angela Meryl who has recently written and released a book titled “Stunts: The How To Handbook.”  Meryl is one of the few working Black stunt women in Hollywood and has won “The Diamond In The Raw Award” which celebrates stunt women. 

Stunt Double for Vivica A. Fox (L) "Kill Bill"
She has doubled for Samantha Mumba for “Time Machine;” crashed through a glass table in the famous “Kill Bill” opening fight scene doubling for Vivica A. Fox. Meryl and Uma Thurman’s stunt double Zoe Bell were both nominated for “Best Fight” scene at the 2004 “World Taurus Stunt Awards” .where  Meryl also was nominated for “Best Overall Stunt By A Woman.”  Meryl says in her book, “Although neither of us won, being nominated in a fight category dominated by men was a huge honor.” 

     Lighting struck again in 2010 with “The World Taurus Stunt Awards” when Heather Vandrell and Meryl won “Best Overall Stunt By A Woman” where she doubled for Beyonce Knowles  for another thriller fight scene in “Obsessed.” 

Meryl (L) Beyonce (R) "Obsessed"

(L) Meryl (R) Rihanna "Battleship"
     Her list of doubling famous Black actresses is long and note worthy. After having done a laundry list of every stunt in the book from fighting (she is a real life black belt kung-fu artist), to falling off buildings, driving and crashing cars, being set on fire to everything else in between does Meryl look at everyday situations with the awareness of how she would handle things as a stunt. For example, if she is driving on a bridge or in a high-rise building would she wonder how a fall or whatever would go? She ponders and says, “I do actually. Going over bridges I do wonder what if? What would I do if God forbid, if my car veered off the bridge and I ended up in the water?”  And about the falls off of a high rise? She laughs, “First of all, if I did not have a cable and if I were not secure in my harness, I would not be jumping. Bur once I ‘m secured in my harness and I have that cable and I trust my rigger that has locked off the cable, I just go for it and jump.” 

Meryl at her Samuel French Bookstore Signing in Hollywood

     Would Meryl get nervous if a stunt coordinator told her we have a stunt and we have a back-up? Her reply is, “They wouldn’t say that. They wouldn’t say I have a back up for you. They hire you in knowing that you can do it, that you are capable of doing the stunt.” How long does Meryl plan to stay in the game? She says, “As long as I can. As long as I’m able to drive and see, I’m going to keep doing this because it’s not work for me. I go to work and I play. I take it serious though but I stay safe and I go to work and I come home.”

     If she had to do it all over again, what would she do differently? Meryl smiles, “I would have trained in gymnastics because with gymnastics, it makes you aware of your body. So for doing high falls, for doing fights, it makes you aware of where your body is at all times. And doing high falls you can make it more dramatic because you know where your body is when you are in the air as a gymnasts. So that’s one thing I would do differently which I didn’t train as a gymnasts.” Meryl’s book will walk you step by step on how to get into the Hollywood Stunt game for those who have it in them.

© 2013 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
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