Kiwi stuntwoman lands exciting roles

SHELLEY GRECO
Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
Genevieve Aitken
BODY DOUBLE: Trainee stunt performer Genevieve Aitken has been in the United States since January.

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Kiwi stuntwoman Genevieve Aitken, 25, will appear in three blockbusters this year after swapping New Zealand for Hollywood.

The 25-year-old former Aucklander has been working alongside big stars including Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson on  the feature film The Coup.

She's also been on the set of Man Up - a movie starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell, and will appear in The Hobbit: There and Back Again which is scheduled for release December 17.

Aitken has been based in Los Angeles since January while undergoing training but  first landed a body-doubling role on the American television show Legend of the Seeker when she was 18.

"I kind of fell into it as a career," she says.

"My first day was totally out of the blue. Dayna Grant, the stunt double for the actress I was body-doubling for, had a pretty serious accident on set.

"Everyone was in a bit of a panic because they needed a stunt double for a fight that was happening in a few days but there were no current stunt performers who would be a good fit for the actress, Bridget Regan.

"Dayna suggested me and the stunt co-ordinator decided to give me a chance.

"It wasn't a job I was ever aware of till then."

Aitken went on to do on-the-job training for fighting, falls and harness work.

She's already appeared on screen as a stunt performer in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will be in Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Charlize Theron, in 2015.

Aitken's job has taken her to Namibia, England and Thailand and she hopes to return to New Zealand in coming months. 

She says she doesn't get star-struck but there are some surreal moments.

"The bizarre and awesome nature of the job, you kind of forget sometimes.  But those moments remind me how lucky I am to have worked with people of that calibre," Aitken says. 

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