Fast, Furious But No Feminist: Meet Angelina’s Stunt Double, Debbie Evans

Fast, Furious But No Feminist: Meet Angelina’s Stunt Double, Debbie Evans
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Meet the woman who puts the bad into badass...

You may not recognise her face, but as Hollywood’s leading female stunt double, the body of Debbie Evans (pictured below) has stepped in for Angelina Jolie and the likes of Michelle Rodriquez in The Fast and the Furious franchise. As a natural born fearless female, Debbie quit college to make her big break and never looked back, despite almost dying more than once.

We caught up with the most badass woman in Hollywood to talk about stunt double sexism, why she isn’t a feminist and just how damn sassy Angelina Jolie is…

Castrol

On doubling up as Angelina…

I doubled up as Angelina (Jolie) driving a car a couple of times, in both Wanted and Mr and Mrs Smith. She's really cool because she really cares about everything being realistic, so she'd ask what I would do here, which points in the car would I be looking at etc, just so she could make it as realistic as possible. Many actors don't do that. She’s a really amazing person. Angelina gets in some major situations, for example in Wanted, she was hanging off the car whilst we were driving by buses, hanging backwards off the car whilst shooting. She is definitely game for a lot! Michelle Rodriequez is also game for anything. Yesterday, when I was with her, she was saying she had chosen the wrong career and was saying, ‘I really wish I did what Debbie does!’

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No one is more badass than Tom Cruise, appaz…

Now that Tom Cruise is an executive producer he can over ride the insurance companies and that enables him to do the stunts he wants. Not many people know this but Tom is a very talented athlete and he does a lot of his own stunts. He has his own a stunt man who goes out and tests everything so if there anything Tom can do he does it.

On Vin Disel and missing Paul Walker…

During filming the first unit is kept quite separate. But when I have worked with Vin, he’s so chilled. I saw him in Cuba and it was great to see him. We do all really miss Paul Walker - it was really tough to lose him.

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She was almost crushed to death on The Matrix Reloaded…

I had to ride up next to the truck cab - in between a wall and the truck. The driver of the truck was supposed to slowly come over and I knew I had a solid 4 seconds to get out before the trailer moved over in rehearsal. We rehearsed it four times but when we came to film it everything went wrong. The trailer hit the bumper of the bike and as that happened I tried to go as far over to the right and when I got off the motorcycle I was physically ill and I was shaking. There was another one when I got hit by a car but I didn't have much time to think about that one due to the pain - I broke my hip socket and it punched through to my pelvis. I am very fortunate to be here today and still doing what I am doing as it was so severe. I couldn’t work for a year.

 

 

On her ice skating-meets-cross fit work out…

In the past I would cross train, I would go to the gym, go running, do martial arts and there was a time I was ice skating. I would put on my figure skates for the first twenty minutes then replace them with ice hockey skates which would work a different set of muscles. Then afterwards I would put my roller skates on - it’s all about challenging my brain, my co-ordination and my abilities. At one point I would wear roller blades and shoot some hoops. I just love anything physical and active that makes you jump from one thing to another. It's all about balance and coordination.

On The Fast and The Furious Set…
 
On the set we have an action unit that goes out and shoots all the car stuff. We have been working together as a team for a long time, since Fast 5, and I have known them for decades… we all go out and know what everyone is going to do. We can read if something is going to go wrong before it even happens and it’s so rewarding to gel like that. On the Fate of the Furious I ended up driving a dodge charger, a rally fighter, a police car, a cab and mini van - it’s just so much fun!

 

 

On stunt double sexism…
 
It's tough being a woman because you are proving yourself time and time again. Men can make mistakes and women are more under the microscope and every flaw is looked at. I get some attitude sometimes but I deal with it. Even if I am getting upset, I just go out there and just prove them wrong! I don't spend time with the negative energy and it’s so rewarding when you win people over. A lot of the time the guys are super rough and don’t think women can drive. They think just because they have big egos that there is no way I can do what I do. All I do in those situations is thank them for helping me and then the next thing I know they are my best buddies. I think it is all about how you deal with the adversities in life: you have the choice to get offended and blow the whole thing up or you have the chance to make a bridge and make a friend out of it. People are just people at the end of the day, we are all imperfect.  

On not being a feminist…

I don’t feel like a feminist, I don’t like to label things. Feminism can be perceived in many different ways, I just think everyone should be treated equally. I feel there is a difference between men and women. I have an ego and most of the time they have a bigger one, but I am willing to swallow my pride in order to bridge the gap. In those situations a feminist would stand up and say, ‘I am a woman, don’t treat me like that.’ but I react in a different way and I think the results are better.

Castrol

On the pay cheque she gets for risking her life…
 
I am not insured! If we get injured at work we have work compensation. However, if we get hurt in training we have the screen actors insurance. We wouldn’t get millions of dollars or even ten thousand dollars as workman’s comp is based on what you earn.  We don't get paid as much as the stars, that’s for sure and we get the same rate as the same person on their first day, even after all this years. We do get stunt adjustments and the more challenging the stunts we perform the more we get bumped up. We make the money by working on a lot of different things whereas actors get pigeonholed into one or two things and find it harder to get work elsewhere. If you are a good stunt performer you get loads of work!

In partnership with Universal Picture’s upcoming film, The Fast and Furious 8, Castrol has created its most extreme Titanium Trial ever: TITANIUM ICE.

 
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