Stunt Performer Spotlight: Phoenix Zito

Featured Interview With Stunt Performer: Phoenix Zito

Tell about yourself and your background! *

I've got Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing, and Mui Thai as far as my martial arts background. I've also been doing parkour and freerunning for about 12 years now.

What inspired you to become a stunt performer?

I was inspired mainly by the 'Prince of Persia' video game, I always wanted to be like Dastan, moving and fighting incredibly acrobaticly. Then one day I saw Jackie Chan movie on tv and saw that people could actually move like this: I was hooked!

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

From stunts on/over cars to fight choreography to high falls, I've done quite a bit. I would say one thing that gives me can you vantage over a lot of traditional stunt performers is my strong parkour background. I can cover extreme distances and jump from "extreme" heights landing exactly how I need to avoid any injuries, or even discomfort.

What is the best part about being a stunt performer?

Being a part of the cool moments that I always loved in movies when I was a kid. Being able to look at myself now and see that that's where I'm at I just know it's making the younger me smile and I hope another kid can be looking at me and feeling the same way about themself.

Tell your all-time favorite stunt story!

In a full suit of armor I had to roll down a hill leading up to a big fight sequence. So the person I'm fighting comes up from behind me (at least it felt like it with the  massive Blindspot of a medieval helmet) and gives me a shove, I take it start rolling down the hill like an avalanche of steel; small shrubbery beware! Right as I was nearing the bottom everyone heard a loud snapping sound, you can hear the AD gasp! Everyone started assuming I had broken my leg or something. I promptly got up and let the director know that the prop scabbard had broken. The tension in the air evaporated almost immediately.

What advice would you give other stunt performers?

Train your ass off! It's not easy, you have to have incredible endurance to be able to pull off a long fight scene. Make sure you're fueling your body with the right foods. And never do anything you feel unsafe doing, if something gives you a bad feeling then express your concerns because at the end of the day it's much better to walk away from a project then to end up seriously injured.

Anything else you'd like to tell the community about?

Stay incredible! Stunt performers deserve more recognition but I'm glad we are starting to see more and more light being shed on our part in film!

Please share your social media handles and how we can follow you!

On Instagram I am @Phoenix_Sol_

Please include any links to stunt reels or videos you'd like to share!