Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Badger.
Jennifer, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began in the stunt industry by playing the role of Vicki Vale at the Batman Stunt Show at Six Flags in 1993 and 1994. I was only 16 years old but had been acting on shows for Nickelodeon in Florida and had always been a tomboy with very supportive parents. During my second year there, I was contacted by a production in New York that needed a stuntwoman of my size and looks to perform rollerblading and motorcycle gags for their project. The film was “Hackers” and I stunt doubled for Angelina Jolie. It was a great start! As I pursued film and television work, I had much to be grateful for because I was of an ideal size and athletic background to be utilized and this allowed me to work on projects in Atlanta such as “Fled” and “Lawless” as well as other shows in the region. After much marketing, I was called on the same day in 1996 to stunt double in two different California films- “Anaconda” and “Scream” and I immediately packed up my truck and moved to Los Angeles to build my career. Once in Los Angeles, I trained and marketed constantly and was thankful to be hired as a stunt double on the series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” which really allowed me to be around some wonderful people as I navigated Hollywood. LA was very good to me for work however my husband and I did not want to start a family there so we moved back to the east coast in 2000. Regional work continued to keep me busy and occasionally I would be brought out to CA to double a specific actress such as Megan Fox, Penelope Cruz, or Miley Cyrus. In 2009, we began “The Vampire Diaries” here in Atlanta and, as Nina Dobrev’s stunt double, it kept me in Atlanta for long stretches at a time.
Since then, I have continued to perform on projects like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Bad Boys 3” but, for the past 15 years, I have also served as a stunt coordinator which is a position that can be quite challenging to achieve as a woman. The Stunt Coordinator is the department head and responsible for creating the action for a production, hiring the stunt performers, and for keeping cast and crew safe. As a highly organized person, I enjoy being part of the planning and executing dynamic stunts that help further the story being told. Coordinating gigs have included recent releases such as “What Men Want” and “Instant Family” as well as fan favorites like “Pitch Perfect 3.”
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As a director, Rod Lurie stated best, “the stunt coordinator is one of the most male-dominated positions in our industry” and between 2004 and 2014, I got a lot of push back from a few of my male peers including several threats and one physical assault. If anything, these struggles have made me more thankful for the women who went before me and the obstacles they overcame. Happily, the majority of men and women in the entertainment business have been supportive and I’ve seen a lot of improvements just in the past five years.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My faith in Jesus Christ has helped me through a hard time and gives me a sense of peace that I’m where I’m supposed to be. Perseverance and a very strong work ethic have been essential as well. We all see people that meet the requirement for their jobs but I strive to go above and beyond in ensuring exciting action with extensive safety. Stuntwork does involve inherent risk but everyone should be going home safely at the end of the day. The hours can be incredibly long but my passion for my work keeps my attitude very upbeat. My family has also been very supportive in every aspect of my life.
- Website: www.jenniferbadger.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Badger-Stunts-407568850714/
- Other: https://pro.imdb.com/name/nm0046087/?ref_=search_search_T1_result_1