Stunt Performer Spotlight: Mollie Hale

Featured Interview With Stunt Performer, Mollie Hale.

How have you been doing, Mollie?

Well for starters, I’m in Paris right now. I’ve been here since February. I was working on a film project when France ordered a country-wide lockdown on March 16th, and I decided to stay rather than return to LA. I can think of worse places to be stuck.

What inspired you to become a stunt person?

Inside this feminine exterior is a serious car guy.

It all started when I was 14, two years before even being legal to drive.  When my parents were away on a business trip, I wouldn’t have a party and destroy the house like other kids.  Nope, not me.  You know what I’d do?  I’d drive my Dad’s M Series BMW to school each day, parking it in the teachers’ parking lot, and driving to Taco Bell at lunch—in the 8th grade.  Of course I got caught, every time—never by the school, but always by my parents.  Damn that odometer.

Then in my early twenties, I was friends with NASCAR racer, Christian Elder. I’d go to his West Coast races, and hang out in the pit during each race, eyes wide as the crew worked on his car at lightning speed.  I was instantly hooked.  He taught me so much—the rules of the track, how a car handles, and at the time what I thought was a pointless detail, tire pressure.

Sadly, Christian died following a career-ending crash, hitting the wall at 82 Gs, that’s 82 times the normal force of gravity. Nowadays, thanks to SAFER barriers, drivers are better protected against high-force impacts. But through his tragedy, I learned that safety is paramount.

Fast forward to 2015—My hobby of racing Porsches at track days, and my profession as a SAG-AFTRA actor merged and became one on the set of HBO’s BALLERS.  My car was the picture car next to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson’s hero car.  In between takes, he’d chat with me, nicknaming me “Miss Porsche.”  He assumed I was a stunt driver.  I said, “Oh no, my car is hired, not me.  I should be on that call sheet today. I’ve got the skills, just never paid for it.”  He looked at me square in the eyes and said, “So do it, Miss Porsche!”  And that was all I needed to hear—The Rock.  The following day I signed up for Rick Seaman’s stunt driving school.  I look forward to the day I work with The Rock again — on the call sheet.

What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?

With my racing background, I love chase scenes.  I think my greatest skill is timing, which is what I was working on in Paris before the Coronavirus hit.  It’s a high-speed, single sequence shot through the tight streets of Paris.  I was practicing test runs of the 10-mile route daily before the lockdown.  We’re spoiled in LA with wide streets.

What is the best part about being a stunt performer?

Stunt performing is the ultimate form of mental mastery.  People assume that I’m a daredevil, which isn’t necessarily true.  I’m definitely an adrenaline junkie, as probably all of us are, but more than anything, we’re just confident in our abilities.

That’s the best part of being a stunt driver—the self-confidence it gives me.  I don’t allow myself to think about the level of difficulty.  I just do it.  And with that mental mindset, I tend to believe that I can do anything in life.

Anything else you would like to tell the community about?

If any of you are in Paris, reach out and say hi!

Instagram: @molliehale