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Posts Tagged ‘stuntwoman’

Spotlight: Top Hollywood Stuntwoman Gaëlle Cohen Dishes On Working With Jessica Biel And Penelope Cruz And Shares Some Delicious Recipes You Can Whip Up At Home

Posted by Levine Communications Office on May 1, 2013

By: Melissa

gaelle cohen

She is one of the most in-demand stuntwomen in Hollywood. A native of France, Gaëlle Cohen was recently featured in the award-winning box office smash Zero Dark Thirty. Her stunts have long been receiving industry acclaim for their breathtaking craft and gritty realism.

But when she’s not busy shooting major studio productions like Rush Hour 3,Babylon A.D. and the upcoming disaster thriller Black Sky, she’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Gaëlle is a true gourmet cook with a passion for organic cooking.

Here she shares her tales of working with a host of stars and provides some of her favorite recipes that you can whip up in the comfort of your own home.

CelebZter: How did you get into being a stuntwoman?

Gaëlle: I had just finished law school when a friend of mine asked me to help her on a show for which she urgently needed a replacement actress. I had never done that before, but she figured I wasn’t shy and would pull it off. There I met some stunt people who were practicing fencing—I found out they were actually rehearsing for an audition. I was on the National French Fencing Team for many years before that, so I offered to help them put a fight together.
Several days later, the stunt coordinator calls me and offers me to work for him on the sword fights for a TV show called “Highlander.” I hadn’t the slightest idea of what stunt work was, but after my first day on set, I knew this was what I wanted to do. Law was definitely not for me anymore.

CelebZter: How do you train for stunts?

Gaëlle: After my experience on Highlander, the only skill I had was fencing, which is a start, but not enough to be hired as a complete stunt woman. So I started training full-time to acquire all the skills stunt people need to perform in movies. Not only did I attend the National Circus School to learn trapeze and acrobatics, but I practiced martial arts, horse riding, trampoline, motocross, high falls, etc.
I trained for a year and a half, before really starting to consider myself “hireable” as a stunt woman.

On a regular basis, you work out to keep in shape, and you train to maintain or improve the level of your skills.

CelebZter: What is the best experience you have had on a movie set?

Gaëlle: There are so many! This is why I love my job, just like all stunt people do, I am sure. One of my most memorable memories is from spending time in the Moroccan desert dunes, riding a camel as Penelope Cruz’s stunt double in the movie “Sahara.” It was such a magical moment.

I also remember, 15 years ago on my first feature film (a movie called Young Blades with Hugh Dancy) I was on the top of a 35-foot tree in a French countryside forest, ready to slide down on a rope and jump on a horse. It was then that I realized how incredible my life was. The beautiful view and the wind in my ears just added to the whole experience. I felt really blessed.

 

Read the rest of the interview at CelebZter

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Stuntwoman Gaëlle Cohen Interviewed by BlogTalkRadio

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 18, 2013

Gaëlle Cohen is an internationally acclaimed stunt coordinator and performer who has worked on over sixty film and television Gaelle Cohenproductions. A native of France, she was recently featured in the award-winning smash ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Her stunt credits include ZERO DARK THIRTY, SAHARA, RUSH HOUR 3, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF; BABYLON AD, OSS 117, MARTYRS. and the upcoming disaster thriller BLACK SKY. As stunt performer, Cohen has doubled for such luminary figures as Sophie Marceau and Penelope Cruz.

Cohen earned a law degree, then, as member of the French National Fencing team, she got her showbiz start performing fight sequences for the television show HIGHLANDER in 1995.

Gaelle speaks French, German, Italian, and English; and among her stunt and athletic skills are Ratchets, High Fall, Squibs, Air Rams, Horseback Riding, Fight-Guy/Gal, Reactions, Wire Work, Hong Kong Wire Work, Fire Burns, Weapons, Car Hits, I Ground Pound, Motion Capture, Motorcycle Falls, Medium and Low Falls, Martial Arts, Weapons, Horse Transfers and Falls, Camel Rider, Descender, Golf, Swimming, Tennis, Fencing, Snow Skiing, Yoga, Rock Climbing, Archery, and Jousting!

As stunt coordinator, her signature action sequences have captured attention within the industry for their earthy realism. THE TALL MAN, a suspense thriller starring Jessica Biel, marks her second collaboration with acclaimed French director, Pascal Laugier.

Listen to the interview here.

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Stunt Woman Gaëlle Cohen Kicks Through The Glass Ceiling

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 9, 2013

By Victoria Lynn Weston

Gaelle CohenIt’s a cold rainy day in Atlanta.  And I’m trying to visualize how someone walks out of a fiery explosion in the Middle East desert and survives.

 

Today I am on the telephone with stunt woman Gaëlle Cohen, one of the most in-demand stunt performers in Hollywood.  She has worked on over sixty film and television productions including; Rush Hour 3, Babylon A.D., Brotherhood of the Wolf, most recently Zero Dark Thirty.

Born and raised in France, Gaëlle Cohen started out her career as a lawyer, “but I really didn’t fit in,” she tells me.

Maybe it was fate, one day she got a call from a friend who was a movie agent and asked her to fill in for an actress. “I arrived on set and saw other actors practicing fencing and since I was on the French National Fencing team and a champion fencer,  I helped them.  They liked my work and I met stunt performers who invited me to audition.”

Gaëlle launched a new career as a stunt performer for the Highlander show in 1995.

“I started out doing sword fights and performed all the bad girl stunts on the show.  It was like a flash –  this is what I want to do!

Cohen has a beautiful French accent and it takes me a few seconds to take in all that she is saying; “This is me – combining athleticism and artistic creation. I did extensive research and trained full-time……

 

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

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Topless Robot Interview: Zero Dark Thirty and Highlander Stuntwoman Gaelle Cohen

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 15, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson

I’ve interviewed many a director and actor in my day, but when it comes to so many of the movies we like, there’s a key reason they kick ass figuratively and literally that I’ve never really been able to explore: the stunt people.

It’s a fascinating world they inhabit, in which life and limb are put on the line every day, not for queen and country, but for the sake of entertaining us all. So when the chance came to speak to stuntwoman Gaelle Cohen – whose credits include Zero Dark ThirtyBrotherhood of the Wolf and Martyrs – came up, I took it. I think you’ll be glad I did. Read on to learn about the differences between realistic and stylized action, the superheroes she likes and would like to be, and how stuntwomen really feel about Quentin Tarantino turning Zoe Bell into a lead actress.

Luke Y. Thompson: You got your start on Highlander: The Raven, right?

Gaelle Cohen: Yes, I did, in Europe. It was shot in Europe. It was shot in France, mainly, and that’s how I started with swordfights.

LYT: Did you always know this was what you wanted to do?

GC: Not at all, total coincidence! I had finished law – to become a lawyer – and then I worked on a show where stunt people were working, and they were rehearsing a fight, a swordfight, and we became friends. I said, “If you want I can train you. I can put a fight together for you,” because they had an audition; they were preparing for an audition. So they said “Yes,” we put up a fight together, and train them, and off they went to their audition. And then one day I received a phone call, and it was the coordinator of their show who wanted to meet me, because he really liked what I did. So I said “OK, I’ll meet you, but I have no idea what your job is. I’m not at all in the movie industry.”

That was 16 years ago already. I met him, and he said “I’m doing a show called Highlander, and there’s a lot of swordfights. Would you like to work with me?” I said, “If you think I could do a good job, yes. Otherwise, no.” So I started doing fights, doing all the bad girls in there, all the females who were killed, and so I got addicted. I thought, “My god, this is what I want! This is really what I want to do.” So I trained for a year and a half. I learned everything and anything that could be useful for stunt work, like, I did the national circus school; I was already a very good horse rider; I was doing shooting and stuff like that. I trained martial arts, trampoline, all that, diving, then after a year and a half, I started working and I never stopped.

LYT: How did you know how to put together that first swordfight? Did you just make it up?

GC: Well, I was – that’s the thing I forgot to tell you, I should have started with that – I was on the national fencing team for many years; I’m a national champion. So fencing was natural for me, I was doing it every day, five hours a day, so that’s why it was natural for me.

LYT: Is there a gender bias? Do you mostly work with guys, or has that changed?

GC: In the past, many, many years ago, there were not so many stuntwomen; in the ’60s, not so many stunt women. So men were doubling for men and women. And then women became more interested and started training. So then it became, why wouldn’t women be able to do what men are doing? So they started training, and they started being respected by coordinators who thought that finally women could do the job, and it actually looks better than the men with the wig, because he’s not shaped as a woman! So it became natural for woman to double woman. It’s still a very manly world, but women have a big place, a big influence. In the stunt coordinating world, I read that there’s not, there are barely women, so I’m super happy to be one who is coordinating, which is really rare, because it’s still very manly.

 

Read the rest of the interview at Topless Robot

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