Stunt Performer, Mountaineer, Model: In a League of her Own

Jessica Clark has progressed from extreme sports to some extreme stunts on the set of The Justice League and, most recently, Fantastic Beasts 2. Read on to find out more about how she is helping to redefine the ‘damsel in distress’ stereotype on screen.

Firstly, could you tell us in only 10 WORDS about your stunt performing?

Well-paid falling over, a clumsy girl’s calling…

Now is your chance to expand with a more in-depth description…

Despite my limited experience in the stunt world, I have been lucky enough to work on some incredible productions. My first role, and favourite so far, was as an Amazon in The Justice League. Wonder Woman and her army of female warriors are helping to break the ‘damsel in distress’ stereotype for women on screen. Working with so many strong inspirational women has been a fantastic experience, and I hope the industry continues to use women for more than just their looks.

Coming into stunts unqualified has presented several challenges, which I love. From the obvious obstacle of overcoming and rationalising fear to learning fight skills and choreography, and even avoiding boredom during long days on set. I have found myself constantly tested and have learnt a lot from every day of training and filming.

My last stunt job was on Fantastic Beasts 2, Crimes of Grindlewald. I’m not able to say much… but essentially a day of elaborate falls was what paid for my much-loved Black Crows touring skis. They’re bright pink!

 

How did you begin?

Whilst at university I was part of the GB Olympic Start Programme for rowing. During this time I was scouted by W Model Management, a sports modelling agency in London. Having modelled for a few years I was lucky enough to fall into stunts because of my extreme sports background and physical suitability as an Amazon.

Who inspired and motivated you?

My mum is a constant motivation. She is the most caring and reliable person I know, but a total badass! She’s currently training for Marathon des Sables.

How has your work developed over time?

I have spent the last year in Chamonix, focussing on my skiing and mountaineering. I would love to one day have the chance to use that in some sort of stunt. At the moment I’m back in London for a few months of modelling and an exciting (but secret) new film project.

What’s your proudest achievement?

I was very proud to have been cast as one of the Amazons. Beyond aesthetics, we were each chosen for our unique backgrounds. Amongst us there were Olympians, a tank driver and a cage fighter. Even better – some were mummas too!

…and your biggest (silliest) embarrassment?

During a fight scene in Justice League I managed to lose my entire corset in a massive pile up and on cut was left rather exposed. Luckily I wasn’t the only one and they ended up having to cut the entire scene.

How do you hope your work will evolve in the future?

For a while I considered training to become a full time stunt woman as part of The National Stunt Register. I have so much respect for all the girls I have met already on the register, and am continually amazed by what it requires.

However, my true love lies in the mountains. This year I climbed and skied several mountains including Mont Blanc, the highest in the Alps. I am going to spend another year in Chamonix learning new skills and reaching new summits. I plan to go into research as a glaciologist, combining my concern for the effects of climate change and my passion for the mountains.

Instagram: @jess.k.clark

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