Stunt Women and Martial Artist's in The Film Industry
Updated: Jun 16
Along with the superhero genre. We are hoping to see more women in the martial arts industry and also play lead roles in the future. Here are a few action star ladies we wanna share and keep track of to see in future action roles.
IMDB: Katrina Durden
Instagram: Katrina durden
YouTube: Katrina Durden
Starting close to home here in the UK we have action girl Katrina Durden. Born in the UK to a creative family full of writers, journalists and filmmakers. Its no surprise that Katrina herself would be influenced by her upbringing to become a martial arts actress and stunt women. Since the age of 13 she has studied theatre, dance, music and poetry through several schools such as Sylvia young, Moscow Arts theatre, Lyric theatre and St Charles College. Being a woman of action she chose to emulate strong females from Video Games, Comics and Films learning several martial arts (Taekwondo being one of her mains), fire play, weaponry, equestrianism and is also fluent in Russian and Spanish. No doubt they will be useful to know.
Experience wise she has had some minor roles in KickAss 2 as RedFang and in Marvel's Doctor Strange as the Blonde Zealot working alongside the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Scott Adkins and Mads Mikkelsen. Her best known role is currently Decapre in Street Fighter: Resurrection where she gets to pull of her Russian accent. Her latest projects since then have included Olga in Shadow and Bone, Jen Quaid in I Am Vengeance: Retaliation, Melania in Sliced and Katya Korikova in Strike Back. Fingers crossed to see more of Katrina Durden in a future role.
IMDB: Amy Johnston
Instagram: Amy Johnston
YouTube: Amy Johnston
Heading across the pond, he meet American action girl Amy Johnston. Being the daughter of David Johnston a former WKA Kickboxing World Champion. We can see that kick ass skill runs in her family. Amy Johnston is best known for her talent as a stunt woman in many American films and TV projects. She first got involved into the industry when she contacted the Thousand Pounds Action Company and offered to be involved in their Tag Match video. In fact one of her most notorious videos with them have been Amy vs Many in which she takes out the whole group on her own. This video actually has spawned over 2 thousand views. She has also stunt doubled for BlackWidow in Captain America: Winter Soldier, in Agents of Shield, Suicide Squad, Deadpool 2, Spiderman Far From Home, Lucifer and Terminator Dark Fate. She has also done motion capture on video games like Tomb Raider, Catwoman for Batman Tell Tale, Black Cat for Spiderman (PS4), Uncharted Lost Legacy and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Her best known roles within the industry have been Adeline in Web Series Clandestine, Harley Quin in Super Power Beat Down episode Joker and HarleyQuin vs Deadpool and Domino, played Ken's Senior Student in Street Fighter: Resurrection. She played the lead roles in two martial arts films, Jane in Lady Bloodfight, Becca in Female Fight Squad did more fan projects on YouTube notably Android 18 in DragonBallZ: Light of Hope and one of her most fun performances would be Jane the Ripper in Scott Adkin's British Martial Arts Comic Book film Accident Man.
Returning over the UK again. Lets look at Burlesque Martial Arts show girl and model Ayesha Hussain. Born to a British Asian Muslim family of Indian, Pakistani and Qatari origin. Ayesha initially was interested in becoming a doctor at Uni before getting her teeth into the modelling industry. This is where she would slowly find her place in the industry as Warrior and performer of Martial Arts. Specialising in Whips, Swords and knife throwing. She is a force not to be reckoned with. She is currently training in Martial Arts and Gymnastics with the intention to slowly join the British Stunt Register and hopefully move into the world of acting. She is a strong contender for Mortal Kombat Jade and she would be a great addition to the British Action films scene. She is also part of the circus duo JustTheTip alongside her friend Betty Machete.
Most of her work as seen on her Instagram revolves around her modelling, Photography and on stage performances in eyecatching costume ranging from Cowgirl to Maharajah Warrioress to straight up Ninja girl. She has also been vocal in the matters of British Asian representation talking about how the industry and the community having always been discouraging her from the entertainment. But she is proud of her mixed Asian heritage (as well as her Rajput warrior caste ancestors) and Has expressed interest in learning Kalaripayattu to further encourage British Asian to embrace their own martial arts heritage that many don't known about. She also has her own photography page on Instagram and had made an appearance in British Bangladeshi singer Nish's song "Xoss" where she shows off some sword skills.
IMDB: Shaina West
Meet the Shaina West or better known as the Samurider by her followers. Coming from a British Black Caribbean background. Shaina become one of the few Black women on the British Stunt register and grew a huge social media following through skills as an aspiring martial arts performer. After suffering a motorcycle accident at the age of 20. She was not deterred from danger, in fact she got a taste for action. Inspired by Japanese culture, especially Anime. She taught herself many martial arts techniques especially using swords and knife. Mix that with her love for Motorcycles. You can see where she got her name as the Samurider. Samurai + Rider = Samurider.
She is expected to make her debut in the upcoming MCU films Blackwidow. Most like portraying one of the Blackwidows in the film. We can see big things for her in future maybe even portray some iconic Martial Arts women in fighting games. With the upcoming Mortal Kombat film she would be a fan favourite for the role of Tanya and if Tekken goes with their own film. They've got their Master Raven right here. She has recently returned from Thailand after a taking a few weeks to train in Muay Thai.
IMDB: Lee Chesley
Meet Lee Chesley or better yet Bgirlmislee. An up and coming Oriental American Stunt women skilled in Martial arts and dancing specifically Juijutsu and Breakdancing, she is one to keep an eye on. Her current resume of training include being able to pull of headspins, flares, windmills and blow-ups along with her newer abilities in Gymnastics, Parkour, Tang Doo So, Kali and Boxing gives her the perfect tools to be an all round action girl.
Most of her current work so far has only been stunt doubling for the likes of Brenda Yde in School of Rock, Awkwafina in Jumanji: Next Level, Ella Basco in Birds of Prey and Jessica Alba in L.A's Finest which she gets to show off her stunt driving skills as well. But don't sleep on her anytime soon. She is shown on Instagram to be attached in a role for Christian Howard's Immortal 65 project based off Marvel's Ironfist. She is slated to appear as one of the Daughter's of the Crane Mother. Can't wait to see it.
IMDB: Tara Macken
Instagram: Tara Macken
Youtube: Tara Macken
Born in Kuwait to American parents of Irish and Filipina origins. Tara has lived throughout the world from West Asia to South East Asia she stayed in Borneo and the Philippines where she would find out how much of an "Outdoor Junkie" she is. Excelling in sports like Gymnastics, Rock Climbing and Dance. By the time she migrated to California, USA it is no surprise she became a stunt woman. Martial Arts wise she seems to have picked up on Jujitsu and some sword training.
Her resume is unsurprisingly filled with a lot of stunt double work for the likes of Maggie Q, Marisol Nickols, Samanthan Boscarino, Alexa Vega, Elodie Yung, Ming Na Wen and many more. With credits for projects like Mortal Kombat, G.I.Joe, Agents of Shield, Avengers Endgame, Captain Marvel, Men in Black International and Suicide Squad. She has however had some small acting roles on the side with Luisa in Sons of Anarchy being one of them and she made an appearance on College Humour's YouTube channel as Annie in Sorority Pillow Fight. Outside of that she was in the Sugar Babes song "About a Girl" as the action girl and on her instagram page she also posts videos of her dancing and best of all she as a beautiful artistic side as demonstrated by her water colour paintings.
IMDB: Christine Ebadi
Instagram: Christine Ebadi
YouTube: Christine Ebadi
Born in Iran and raised in Canada, we have Christine Ebadi. If there was anything about her that she was sure about was her desire to be Superwoman. While she may not be flying in a red skirt and cape shooting lasers out of her eye. Ebadi has made quite the career for herself by training to be a stunt woman in films and TV. Unsurprisingly she is trained in martial arts, parkour, gymnastics and weaponry ton perfectly fit the role of a stunt woman. She also has many other skills and interests.
Whilst she does not do much acting. She has doubled for the likes of Vanessa Hudgens, Archie Panjabi, Beanie Feldstein, Rekha Sharma and many more. With film and TV credits under belt including Robocop, Suicide Squad, Arrow, The 100, Titans, Shazam and Star Trek. Christine has a load of hidden depths however. On her social media she prefer to engage her follower in her unique hobbies and interests such as Meditation, Painting, Tarot Reading, Reiki, Clairvoyancy, Clairsentience, Quantum Linguistics, Hypnosis, and other energy healing techniques. She tends to spread a message of self love, positivism, sexual empowerment and spirituality. She is a true believer in the power of chakras and esoteric healing that the body is capable of.
IMDB: Tess Kielhamer
Instagram: Tess Kielhamer
YouTube: Tess Kielhamer
Best known for her YouTube channel is martial artist, model and vlogger Tess Kielhamer. Her video tend to revolve around her training, fitness, diet and health. A black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and world champ she has the moves to really show off what she is truly capable of. She is best recognised for her cosplay as Black Canary with many of her fans stating that she would be a perfect choice for the role.
She has done motion capture work in Video Game Call of Duty for characters Battery and Scarlet. Her love of cosplay has also lead her to be featured in many martial arts shorts where she would play fictional character like Black Canary of DC Comics, Cammy White of Street Fighter, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and even She-Ra. She makes regular appearances in webseries such as Super Power Beat Down, Slug Street Scrappers, Heroes with Issues and Deadliest Warrior.
IMDB: Giulini Wever
Instagram: Giulini Wever
YouTube: Giulini Wever
Born in the Curacao, Netherlands Antilles before moving to Brooklyn at the age of 10. Giulini came from a unique mixed background of Eurasian, Latin and Native American heritage. In fact thanks to her mixed origin and up bringing she is capable of speaking English, Spanish, Dutch and her native tongue Papiamento. But when it isn't language she needs, best believe her fist or her feet do the talking. As she is a black belt in Taekwondo and also a passionate boxer. She has four weapons attached to the end of her limbs to kick your ass with two different styles.
She is best known for small acting roles in projects like Numb3rs, Secret Girlfriend and Speed Dating. She mostly works as a fitness trainer and model. She has appeared in many music videos such as Akon's Beautiful as one of many Beautiful Models and alongside Michael Jai White in Nicki Minaj's song "Your Love" where she portrays the singer's main nemesis. She also has done some self defense tutorials.
IMDB: Angela Jordan
YouTube: Angela Jordan
Angela Jordan is a Filipina American stunt woman and martial arts actress. From the age of 9 she earned her Junior black belt in Kenpo Karate. She has currently taken up Muay Thai and Judo as well to add to her list of styles. Best known for her work on YouTube. She Aspires to be part of the future generation of Martial Arts.
While she has started doing stunt work very recently in projects like Yes, Auntie, Final Contact an the Other side, She does embrace her geekiness portraying Korra in Avatar short fan film The Legend of Korra: A New Begining. She currently runs her own Kung Fu Kitchen action comedy web series. Lets hope to expect big things from her in future.