A lot of the credit for a movie is given to those that are more visible than anyone and those whose names are well-known to the fans. A lot of people that have a great deal to do with making a movie what it is, especially during action sequences, are the stuntmen and women that take on the heavy action scenes when the actors are incapable or don’t want to risk engaging in a stunt. Stuntpeople are those that get lit on fire, take heavy hits and well-practiced falls and do the things that make people wince since there are plenty of times when the stunts they perform are absolutely brutal. Sometimes one can’t help but wonder what makes a person want to get into the stunt business, but there appear to be a lot of people that can’t see the sense in doing anything else. These are the people in the movie that fall off of buildings, get in car crashes, and do the dangerous stuff that is entertaining and a lot of times makes the actors look great.
Some actors do their own stunts, but even in this day and age, this is fairly rare since there are a lot of issues to be hammered out when it comes to letting actors take on their own stunts, which means that there are a lot of stuntpeople that are ready and willing to take on the dangerous stuff. They do get paid, and they do get recognized from time to time and have fans and are well-respected, but compared to the actors they bolster so much of the time they don’t get noticed nearly as much. It could be explained as being part of the business, which would be what a lot of people would fall back on when it came to explaining the overall status of a stuntperson in Hollywood.
One thing to remember about being a stuntperson is that they do take a lot of risks, even if a good number of them are calculated and have safety measures that are checked and rechecked. When all is said and done, stuntpeople are the types of people that are usually tough, disciplined, and intelligent to a degree that makes one wonder why in the world they’re not actors, since they take over for actors on such a regular basis that when an action scene pops up you’re usually seeing a stuntperson, unless there are close-up scenes that require the actor to step in and show their face. Sometimes it sounds a little unfair to think that they’re doing so much of the work and aren’t getting the same kind of recognition. Plus, they’re stepping in harm’s way and aren’t getting paid the same for it. The role of a stuntperson is sometimes extremely thankless and rough beyond anything that many people can think about, yet folks still keep stepping into this role for one reason or another and filling the ranks as the years go by. At some point, a person has to realize that like a lot of people that like their jobs, those in the stunt business are doing it because they love it, not necessarily for the paycheck.
Okay, they do it to get paid, but a lot of folks that act as stuntmen and women do so because they happen to like what they do, which is still fairly rare at times. Trying to get them more credit would be a little above and beyond in the opinion of many people, but some might decide that they’re being given the credit they need. The truth is that stuntpeople are appreciated by a lot of the people on the set, most often the actors that are stepping aside to give these folks a moment to shine. The stunt crews are on camera just as much as the actors sometimes, and the average rate of pay is quite nice. But the risk of injury, as it’s been seen in the past, is exceptionally high since depending on the movie, some stuntpeople spend a good deal of time recuperating to head to the next job and get beaten up just as badly, or worse. All the safety measures in the world can’t keep every accident from happening.
The truth is that a lot of those in the stunt industry are there because they want to be, and the paycheck might be important, but it’s also not the main point. Being able to do something like this, to take the kind of hits that stuntpeople take, and to get up and do it again and again, is something that a lot of people don’t fully understand, but it’s fully appreciated. Maybe it’s time to think about giving them a little more credit. If not for the stuntpeople, a lot of movies would be insanely boring.