Big blockbuster films continue pumping money into the local economy like over $40 million from Deadpool and $69 million from Star Trek Beyond. There are also a slew of Hollywood North productions for primetime television and original streaming content. This trickles down to a lot of jobs for local talent like actors and crew.
We chatted with stunt woman, actress, YouTuber/vlogger and cosplayer Cassandra Ebner about her work and the local film & TV industry. She’s appeared in local productions like Arrow, The Tomorrow People, Continuum, Witches of East End, iZombie, The Flash, Supernatural and Once Upon a Time. As a stunt woman she both stunt doubles adrenaline-filled scenes and stunt performs intricate background/extra scenes. She’s doubled for actresses like Alex PenaVega, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Emilie de Ravin. When she’s not on that set she also acts/stunts in independent films like the 2013 fan film Croft.
What inspired you to pursue acting and stunts?
Growing up I wanted to be a superhero so bad. I remember going out to the back yard everyday and thinking if I could jump and reach the monkey bar then after that I would be able to fly! I’m not sure where the logic came from but I really believed in it! One day I jumped and grabbed the monkey bar and no super powers… My parents explained, in a loving way, that they weren’t real and that’s when a new goal was made. I wanted to be a superhero in the movies!
Way back Wednesday everybody… This day was one of my child hood dreams come true. I grew up wanting to be a super hero and what better show than @arrowcw @cw_arrow to be on. Madison was so wonderful to work with again, last time I saw her was on #supernatural. This girl is killing it! The #arrow team is always fun to work with, so thanks to all of them for letting me get a bit geeky on this one. Check out episode 19 for some mischief. #superheroes #cool #people #letting #me #do #cool #things #grateful #leather #superhero #canarycry
What’s it like to step into identical shoes of other actors and characters on screen as a stunt double?
It’s so much fun! It brings together all the things I love doing. Being a different character with wigs, different outfits and different postures. Trying to mimic different people and how they might fall or pose in fights is so much fun. And The best part is I meet so many talented actresses who are doing such cool amazing things in the world or being inspiring great people and it’s so awesome to see!
Is there an art or science to stunt performing, aside from its physical nature?
There is always something new to learn. Whether it be more about camera angles and where better to sell a fight scene from. Or the beats of a stunt like at this point you will sit on the chair someone falls over you get up, watch the other guy fall over, jump on the bad guys back, get thrown to the ground and then pick up the gun strategically placed near you all in one shot. It’s so cool the endless things you can work on in this industry!! Or any industry for that matter!
My hero. ;) #warcraft I’ve played this game since I was 12 with my uncle and @ftbdad. I emailed @blizzard when I was 15 asking if I could be in their movie if they ever made one… They emailed back saying if they ever made a movie they would be hiring professionals. Low and behold 6 years later I got to work on Warcraft as a #stunt #performer. One of my dreams come true!! Working on a video game movie that I love with one of my best friends and training with these awesome performers!! Thanks to the stunt team for making this experience one of the coolest jobs ever. And for the life time friendships. @rogerzyuan @alainmoussi @dennislafond @nilo_nutrifit @devoslack @trevoraddiewhiteninja @rhysstunts @valwisemanfitness #worldofwarcraft #throwback #knight #damsal #villager #film #yvr #vancouver #cosplay #couplegoals
A photo posted by Cassandra Ebner (@nerdz4l) on
What’s it been like to be a stunt performer on epic productions like Warcraft and Game of Thrones in the same year?
Both of them were different and amazing experiences. Funny enough though they came out in the same year but were filmed 2 years apart! I was on Warcraft in spring of 2014. And in “winter” (see what I did there) 2015 I was on Game of Thrones. The length of time it takes to make different movies or tv shows is crazy!
As a regular on local productions, where do you see Hollywood North in five years?
I don’t feel I have enough experience to answer this question. All I can say is I hope for my friends and all the talented people in Canada that it stays as busy as it is right now.
Favourite Vancouver-filmed project you’ve been a part of?
So not fair! I’ve had amazing learning experiences on all of them so I couldn’t pick just one!
Most memorable stunt so far?
The one where I came home alive ;)
Advice for aspiring stunt performers
Not just for stunt performers but all people wanting to pursue their passion; don’t give up. Yeah things take time and work, but keep at it, stay safe and have fun. That’s so important in life! <3
Interview by Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch