How to get a job as a stuntman

Jump out of a plane, sword fight, dive off a cliff – if you’re tough enough to rise to the challenge, why not become a stunt performer and play a vital role in the film industry.

Stunt co-ordinator Andreas Petrides says it’s the best job in the world too, and as the founder of the British Action Academy, Andreas knows the industry inside out.

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He’s been working as a professional stunt performer and co-ordinator for the last 25 years and has had stunt roles in major movies like Gladiator, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Die Another Day. He was even inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

“You could get a call the night before asking you to be on set at 5am in some remote location so you need to be ready for anything!” he explains.

“You can arrive on set, have breakfast and then head straight to costume, where you could be dressed up as anything from a modern day hooligan, to a medieval knight.

“You could be standing in heavy chainmail all day performing your routine, or on the top of a tower being thrown off into an air bag.

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“There is no ‘average’ day as a stunt performer. Every day is different and every day presents new performance challenges. That’s why, for the successful performer, they would say it’s the best job in the world.”

The film industry is notoriously difficult to break into though with competition always high, so how do you land the best job in the world?

Would-be stunt performers are required to join the British Stunt Register to get started as a performer.But to do so performers must have a high skill level in a minimum of six sports across pre-set categories – these include martial arts, gymnastics, horse riding, trampolining and high diving.

And although it is a demanding career choice, making it onto the big screen will be one of many career highlights.

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“There are so many positive aspects for the successful stunt performer,” Andreas adds.

“From travelling the world, working alongside some of your screen heroes, to dressing up and performing action from some of your favourite childhood movies. It can be a rewarding and thrilling industry.”

“As the famous stuntman Dar Robinson once said ‘why grow up when you can make movies?’ – we really are living the dream.”