Updated: Jul 1
Tell about life before stunts!
My name is Ashley Landrieu and I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I knew wanted to be an actress when I was five-years old, sitting in front of my family's old television watching QUEST FOR CAMELOT. Watching that movie made me want to tell stories. Stories that can take a person out of this world just for a little bit.
I was in my first play when I was in fifth grade and continued to do any play I could during grammar school all through my high school, Mount Carmel Academy. During high school, I was in nine of the ten shows I could have been in and I was even the president of the drama club my senior year.
After graduating, I went to Louisiana State University to major in Theatre with a concentration in Performance. I loved everything about my college experience; from Saturday nights in Death Valley, to acting classes, film acting classes, aerial silks (learning and teaching), voice classes, and movement classes where I got my first taste of stage combat. My classes always presented me with a challenge and I welcomed it every time.
My first film appearance was during my Junior year of college. My team and I had the honor of winning LSU's Horribly Short 48 Hour Film Festival. It was during this time that I met Jim Gleason and Lance Nichols and began working with them over Facetime. That summer break I attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for a two week film intensive where I got to meet some amazing people and work on my craft from another perspective.
Once I came back to Louisiana, I finished off my senior year by getting my Bachelor's Degree and graduating with honors from LSU. That summer I traveled to Switzerland for seven weeks and worked at a summer camp in the mountains. I used this time as a character study since I was meeting people from all over the world and learning about so many different cultures. It was also a great way to see some of the world that I learned so much about during school.
When I returned to New Orleans, I immediately got started with in person classes with Jim Gleason and Lance Nichols. Since I've been studying with them for about four years now, I consider both of these incredible men to be my mentos and friends.
In May of 2018, I went to Florida to complete John Zimmerman's Stunt Camp. During this week, I did fight scenes, hand pulls, a 40 ft suicide fall, a 40 ft rapelle, partial body burns, and a full body burn. It was during this week, that the stunt bug bit me. I would love to do some of my own stunts when I get cast in a film or TV show.
This is not just a hobby for me, it is my life. Since I knew at a very young age I was called to be in films and tell stories and I will do anything I can to make that happen. I am very persistent, strong, and driven, but I'm also a hopeless romantic and trustworthy. My dream jobs are to be in a Marvel film, a Nicholas Sparks movie, and a sit com like Friends.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
I've always wanted to work in stunts, even when I was a kid and didn't really understand how they worked. I remember when my dad first showed me the ROCKY films and I was amazed by how the fights worked and how it is an art within an art.
I'm also a huge superhero fan who grew up watching any superhero film I could watch and my favorite scenes were always the fight scenes because each character was so strong, but I knew there was a lot of trust between those stunt performers to allow someone to make it look like someone else is hurting you.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
I do not think I have a greatest skill. I still have a lot of things to learn and I'm looking forward to everything I have to learn. I love learning new skills. But, I will say that since I am also an actress, my acting skills helped me put my mind into the character I am while I was in a fight scene or doing a 40ft fall, or even a full body burn.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
Stunts truly are magic. They can make you feel incredibly strong and feel as if you can do anything. All stunts are dangerous but when you have team that trusts each other completely, you're able to focus on the story you're telling.
What advice would you give other stunt people?
My advice would be to people who are considering getting into stunts. It's difficult and be prepared to get your ass kicked, but if you never try, you'll never be able to decide if it's for you. You can't imagine the way stunts make you feel.... you have to live it.
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
I am still training and trying to find someone in New Orleans to train with. I have a lot to learn and willing to do anything I need to do to get that training. There are so many films that film in New Orleans, but there is not a big stunt community.
I hope that stunt performers who are in New Orleans can come together and start a way of training new people or other stunt performers to learn new skills.
Stunt Players Directory: https://www.stuntplayers.com/player/ashley-landrieu/