On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Meryl, former model and make-up artist, and author of ‘Stunts: The How To Handbook -The Secrets From An Award-Winning Hollywood Stunt Woman.’
As a 15 year veteran Hollywood stuntwoman, Meryl has bungee jumped, jumped off rooftops, fallen great heights from tall buildings, had numerous fist fights and has ended up with her share of scrapes, bumps and bruises. And, this self-proclaimed tomboy loves every minute of it. Meryl received her first stunt gig alongside actor Sinbad, in the movie First Kidd. The game changer occurred when she came crashing through a glass table in the opening scene of Kill Bill Volume I, while doubling for Vivica A. Fox. That performance garnered industry wide recognition and applause from peers in the business and fans to this day.
In her book, ‘Stunts’ she gives us the 411 and often untold stories for success in the stunts business, where she frequently doubles such A-list names as Beyoncé, Halle Berry, Rihanna, Vanessa L. Williams and many more. In 2014, Meryl was nominated for “Stuntwoman of the Year” for her performance in “NCIS LA.” In the television drama she jumped backwards out of a window on the 33rd floor! Action flicks are her specialty.
As a child growing up in New Jersey, Meryl never thought that football, karate, gymnastics, and childhood roughhousing such as crashing her bike and riding on the hoods of cars would influence her career, but her pursuit of the thrill has led her to become a veteran Hollywood stunt woman. In 1995, while working as an extra on the set of ‘Dead Presidents’, she was asked if she could do a particular stunt – well, as the saying goes – the rest is history.