They say never meet your idols, but for a stuntman and martial artist Ashlee Fidow, meeting the legendary Donnie Yen on the set Mulan-where she was one of the stars Yifei Liu‘s stunt doubles — it was all just not disappointing. io9 recently talked to Fidow about her Mulan the experience (in addition to “fangirling” over Jena, included a torturous underwater stunt that didn’t make it into the final film) and her high-flying career so far.
This is the third and final part of our series — look Part 1 i Part 2— Highlighting extremely cool stunt performers working on some of your favorite sci-fi and fantasy projects. Aiko Tanaka, the creator of this series, spoke to Fidow who said I work with MulanThe Chinese stunt team was the highlight for her. “Many of them came from Wushu backgrounds at a very top level, so I was able to learn a little bit of Wushu throughout the process and actually pick their brains and watch them move. It’s great when you [collaborate] with other stuntmen around the world because you’re learning skills you may not have at the moment, ”she says.
Liu had two doubles Mulan, and Fidow says working with the second stuntman was a rewarding experience despite the language barrier between them. “We couldn’t talk to each other, but in a way we could communicate with body language … the great thing about what we had to do was the physical expression, so it was like dancing together.”
Fidow admits that at first she didn’t think performing stunts would be her career. “I think the fact that I practiced martial arts when I was young led me to it somewhat by accident,” she says. About 10 years ago, a friend suggested she audition, which she did – which led to her first stunt role. “I remember jumping off a cliff in a quarry and making my first high fall, and then I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God,’ I just went crazy and said, ‘This is this!’
Apparently, she stayed with it – besides Mulan, its long list of loans includes The Hobbit: Battle five armies,, Ash vs. Evil Dead,, Alien: Covenant,, The Meg,, Thor: Love and thunder, i Avatar 2—And she has the right conversation for everyone who is thinking about getting into business as she did: “My advice to everyone who starts stunts is to know what they are getting into to begin with. Knowing your limitations is huge. Every stuntman has different skills, every stuntman offers something completely different to the team, and that’s just knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are. ”
You can see more of Fidow at Instagram.
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