Meet Carrie Bernans: The Black Stuntwoman Who Probably Starred In Your Favorite Action Films

9 months ago 5

In the latest episode of "We Everywhere" — a new TikTok series exploring and highlighting Black culture, often in the places you'd least expect it — Cocoa Butter chatted with Carrie Bernans for a peek into what it's like to be a Black stuntwoman!

When it comes to the world of stunt professionals, women were initially left out of the conversation. And once women were allowed to join, Black stuntwomen still made up less than half of them.

Well, Carrie is helping to change that narrative! She's starred in a few projects you might've heard of, like Black Panther, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lovecraft Country, Avengers: Endgame, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and many, many more.

Carrie usually starts her day early with fight training with her team. That includes everything from rows and flips to acrobatics. Training typically lasts about two and a half hours.

When she heads to one of her gigs, the first thing she does is meet with the stunt coordinator to check out the location. Then, they do a small rehearsal to ensure the stunt runs smoothly.

But stunt professionals aren't always solely responsible for the stunts you see on screen. Sometimes, the actors prefer to perform some of their own to get the experience. This was the case for Keke Palmer when Cassie acted as her stunt double in Nope.

"She can do some stunts too," Cassie told Cocoa Butter. "During rehearsal, we might also grab the actor and teach them the choreography." They performed a Cowboy Switch, where Keke switched with Cassie in the middle of a stunt.

"Because now we have more superheroes of color, that means we need more stunt people of color. But it has not always been that way."

"It's been very difficult to tap into this industry. It looks really big, but in reality, it's a small bubble."

Although there's been a rise in the number of Black stuntwomen, there's still more work that needs to be done, particularly to guarantee Black actors aren't forced to deal with white stunt doubles dressed in blackface, like Anjelika Washington was.

Movies like Black Panther helped increase Black women's visibility in the stunt space. The film required over 200 people working in stunts who were predominantly Black.

And since Carrie is currently taking a break from stunt work because she's pregnant, she's even more eager to get more women in the business.

"So if you want to be a stuntwoman, hit me up," Carrie said. "There are many possibilities out in this industry. The world is yours!"

Wow, I don't know about you, but I feel inspired! We love to see Carrie living her best life! Are you interested in stunt work? Or do you have a favorite stuntwoman? Tell us about it in the comments!

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