Sharlène Royer is a force to be reckoned with.
This multi-talented woman has been making her mark on the Hollywood scene by becoming one of the only ones being both an actress and a stuntwoman. She's won the S.O.B.A (Sounds of Blackness Award) for Best Actress in a TV Series and was nominated for a SAG Award in for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
While working as a model and actress, she was discovered by acclaimed stunt coordinator Alan Oliney in 1999 and quickly catapulted to the forefront of the stunt-work scene, soon becoming the sought-after favourite for stars such as Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Saldana, Ciara Renée and Paula Patton.
We took the time to interview Sharlene to get a sense of who she is and what she's done up to now. Scroll through our Q&A below to get to know her better:
Did you always want to become a stuntwoman? or did this all happen on a whim?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be like the Bionic Woman …it was never clear a vision because I didn’t know stunt work existed as a career. It was only later I discovered I could become a professional stunt woman.
What was your first stunt gig?
My first gig was in the movie The Adventures of Pluto Nash for Rosario Dawson. I was doing a lot of cable [stunt] work!
Did you pick up military technique, stage combat and martial arts training after your first stunt gig? or was it more of a personal goal you set yourself to accomplish?
It was after my first gig. I wanted to perfect and improve my skills; to have a much wider skill set.
How does your classical Jazz & Ballet training tie in to your stunts?
Rhythm and choreography is a good skill to have because you can learn and adapt faster for different types of fighting. For example, the stunt actress Michelle Yo was a dancer. There are way more stunt performers who have a dance background than you think!
What was your most memorable stunt gig to this day? and why?
There are a lot, but 3 of them come to mind as memorable.
Gothika with Halle Berry in 2003. It was the first time I was working with an actress of her status. It was a turning point in my career; the level of difficulty of the stunts was really high.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – I was Halle Berry’s stunt double for her mythical character Storm. It's not every day you get to put on a superhero costume!
I got to put on a superhero costume for a second time on the TV show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. For 9 months, I was Hawkgirl! It was the cable work was really intense. I had to go through intense training.
How would you describe your day to day life outside of stunt gigs?
Rest, training, and recovery (maintenance)… LOL – And of course riding my motorcycle!
Let’s talk about your ROYER ambassador position. Is this something you anticipated?
Not at all …it is something that was offered when I was working with Georges St-Pierre in Romania on a movie. It was pure coincidence or even serendipitous. He was the ambassador for the company…and I was A Royer! LOL… The company was looking for a female ambassador for the women’s line.
Are there any upcoming gigs you are most excited about (that you can reveal)?
Kidnap with Halle Berry will be coming out on December 2nd .
I worked on a few TV Shows over the summer which will air next spring/summer.
– ZOO (TV Series on CBS)
– The 100 (TV Series on CW)
– Tully (Movie with Charlize Theron)
Others things are also brewing such as web commercials I wrote and produced for Royer boots.
Photos courtesy of Sharlène Royer