Stunt Performer Spotlight: Yavuz Topuz

Featured Interview With Stunt Performer: Yavuz Topuz

Tell about yourself and your background! *

Hi, i’m Yavuz Topuz. I moved to America 2014 from Istanbul/Turkey. My background is breakdancing. I got a contract from Cirque du Soleil in 2011 and was on world tour with them till 2014. Fall in love with LA and decided to move here after the tour.

What inspired you to become a stunt performer?

I was always a fan of martial arts but never had the opportunity to learn it somewhere. To busy with my breaking carrier. A friend of mine who is a stuntman  but was also a break-dancer (Khalid Ghajji) took me a couple of times to 818 boxing gym and told me about stunts. So i was really interested but i was back on tour again for like a year with Cirque. After that i met Marissa Labog who was a dancer but worked also as a stuntwoman. She taught me Tae Kwon Do kicks and basic falls. Because of my breakdancing I'm used to physical work so i had a lot of fun. Then she introduced me to Mark Musashi who is teaching once a week. I was there every week. I learned a lot from his classes. Specially fighting and falls. Then i saw the movie unlucky stars written and directed by Dennis Rule who is also a friend now but at that time i didn’t know anyone. That movie motivated and inspired me sooo much. I trained a lot at JAM and met more and more stunt people. Then i met Bryan Sloyer and Jay Kwon. I saw there passion projects and i loved it. Super talented. About a year or two later when i was better in stunts, bryan asked me if i would be interested in being a part in one of his new projects. I was super thrilled and was looking forward to it since i also knew i must be on the right way skills whise or he wouldn’t have asked me. By being part of his projects i learned so much. Just watching everyone and hearing his notes. One step after the other i was more and more involved in stunts and the community. But i didn’t start hustling yet because i wanted to make sure that i can actually offer coordinators what they want. I would hate it if i start to early and then on set they need something i can’t do. So i waited and kept training until i felt comfortable. I was involved in more and more passion projects and met Aaron Toney, Emmanuel Manzanares, Vlad Rimburg, Luke Lafontaine and so many more amazing people. Love the stunt community. Everyone always ready to help each other and support like a big family.

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

I always try my best to stay not to far away from the coordinator in case he needs me. Also always try to see what could be needed before the coordinator tells me. Other then that i love doing fights and reactions. Also because i served in the military i am comfortable with guns and rifles and all that good stuff :)

What is the best part about being a stunt performer?

I remember when i was little i was playing in my backyard like im a ninja fighting imaginary enemy’s or i was playing that I'm in a shootout. Well now it’s kinda the same thing but getting paid for it. In the end of a stunt when everyone is happy with the outcome of your stunt, that’s always an amazing feeling

What advice would you give other stunt performers?

Everyone knows already. Please speak up if you don’t feel safe. Don’t think the coordinator wouldn’t hire you anymore or something like that. I’m sure they will appreciate it more if you speak up.

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

I would like to thank everyone who welcomed me, taught me and trusted and still trusts me by giving me a chance to get beaten up, die, burn, fall etc for them :)

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

Instagram: yavuzrisk1

Facebook: Yavuz Topuz

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