Playing a superhero isn't the job of only one person. Actors like Chris Evans, Gal Gadot, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds are the faces of some of our favorite superheroes on the big screen, but there's a group of dedicated stunt performers behind them. They're the people in charge of performing the remarkable physical feats that comic book characters are known for.
While they don't get nearly enough credit for everything they do, their work is truly commendable. Now, we've gotten a great example of how much dedication it takes to be a superhero stunt double thanks to a young man by the name of Brett Smrz.
Meet Paul Rudd's Inspirational Stunt Double
Smrz lost his left foot when he was 16 after a terrible accident. He jumped from a balcony to a trampoline, and he landed on his left leg. The fall put too much pressure on his leg, snapping his bone and severing one of his arteries in the process. After five surgeries, Smrz was told that his leg needed to be amputated.
Fortunately, his missing limb didn't stop him from finding success in Hollywood. Right now, he's #PaulRudd's stunt double for Ant-Man. The Atlanta Filming Twitter page uploaded a picture of Smrz while doing work on an upcoming Marvel sequel, likely Avengers 4, showing the performer sporting Scott Lang's newly updated superhero outfit:
During an interview with Gaiscioch Magazine, the young man revealed that he was inspired to push himself by a stunt performer he met on the set of Inspector Gadget: "When I was nine years old, I met Casey Pieretti. He was working on Inspector Gadget with my dad. I saw him with his prosthetic leg on two stilts running down a street [...] So after my accident, I thought that if Casey could do that, then why couldn't I?"
Aside from that, he also took inspiration from race car drvier Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs after a serious accident during the 2001 American Memorial championship:
"I had just finished reading a book called 'Alex Zanardi: My Sweetest Victory.' Alex Zanardi was an Italian race car driver who was in a violent accident at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, and both of his legs were amputated. He got back into racing about a year after his accident. It [...] made it easier for me to decide to continue on with my life and with racing. My accident didn't slow me down at all."
Such resilience has paid off, because he's worked on a multitude of big budget films, such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Mission: Impossible –– Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Event though stunt doubles don't get as recognized as actors for their work, it's great to see that role models like Smrz are out there to inspire kids who might be going through the same struggles.
[Source: Gaiscioch Magazine]