Stunt Performer Spotlight: Carrie Bernans

Meet Black Panther's and Avengers: End Game, Stuntwoman -- Dora Milaje, Luke Cage's fierce Jamaican Styler, X-Men, Dark Phoenix action stunt double, and the next black girl James Bond. She speaks 6 languages (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Latvian, Russian, French, & English). She's an activist, serves on the board of 2 non-profits, and spends her free time mentoring kids in poverty-driven communities and finding ways to solve homelessness. She's not only a stuntwoman, actress, pro-athlete aka pro-tagger on FOX ‘Ultimate Tag’ but she has been in over 100+ projects including tv shows, movies, commercials, plays, music videos, virtual reality and more. In her down time, she voices cartoon characters which helped her maintain her sanity over the quarantine break in addition to lots of indoor workouts and training extreme martial arts. Some may know her as the Banshee, an athletic demon fairy who’s here to take your soul away on FOX’s new show, the ULTIMATE TAG and others know her as Carrie, a caring, athletic thrill seeker who would crash through a window, jump off a horse, skinny dip in the ocean, spin like a fairy on wires, and just as the positive and hard working girl you wanna hang around. Some of Her Credits Include: FOX-Ultimate Tag, CBS-SWAT, FOX-Orville, AMC-The Walking Dead CBS, CBS-Seal Team, Avengers: End Game, X-Men (The Dark Phoenix), Marvel’s Black Panther and more! She is so appreciate for every person who has given her an opportunity and doesn’t take it for granted. So people often ask Carrie what her backstory is. In brief, Carrie Bernans was born in Hopewell, VA, right outside of the capital Richmond with the magical enthusiasm and talents she is known for and where change became an early yet conquerable constant for her as a little girl. Carrie grew up poor-of-goods and wealthy-of-mind with a single-parent teenage-mother and an early nomadic lifestyle from her birthplace to Panama, Central America, back to Richmond and to the townships along the Eastern U.S. coast. These childhood experiences reflexively prepared Carrie for extensive independent traveling and coaching abroad in Shanghai, China, Paris, France, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. Carrie ran NCAA Division 1 Track & Cross Country at the University of Memphis, played softball for East China Normal University in Shanghai China and has been swimming since she was like 2 years old. Athleticism has ran through her blood since birth. She was the kid who would jump out of trees, do tricks on rollerblades, swim past the shore lines, and more --- She played soccer for 10 years, ran track for 15+ years, danced, and skated and more. Some would call her a dare-devil, others would say she’s insane. She learned about the stunt community 4 years ago from a SAG-Aftra meeting where she then met Jane Austin who helped her start training for her big career she had ahead. What inspired you to become a stunt person? Since I was a little girl, I was a fan of the 007 James Bond Franchise, I would pretend I was James Bond and the Bond Girls and do the super cool moves and change my voice. I was also a fan of everything Jackie Chan… he was like a real life hero and I wanted to be a martial artists just like him. He taught me discipline and hard work although I didn’t always use it until I got older…. Oh and, I love the Matrix, the Avengers, Demolition Man, Speed, Rush Hour, Boiling, Point, Charlie Angels, Training Day, Bad Boys, Set It Off, and a million others that just fired up the drive in me to learn how to ride a motorcycle when I was 15 to start training martial arts and more. I honestly thought it was the actors. I didn’t know it was stunt people who doubled them until moving to Los Angeles and then I fell in love with the stunt world and was inspired to be the best I can be and educate little boys and girls that were like the younger version of me to become a stunt person if they wished. What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it? My greatest skill as a stunt performer is probably my ability to do a multitude of things. I can run and jump over things because of my years of running track and specifically hurdles. I can learn and keep up with choreography from my years of dance. I have become disciplined in studying a multitude of weapons like the sword, bo-staff, kali sticks, and others and have used them all on past projects. I’ve been swimming since I was two years old so I love water and feel so comfortable in it, been riding horses as a kid and re-training for a few years as an adult, and I’m great on wires and have done them in 70% of the projects I’ve been in – And lastly, I’m great with reactions and basic acrobatics. What is the best part about being a stunt performer? The best part of being a stunt performer is probably two things…. One is that I get to meet a lot of incredible, badass people who I think so highly of because they do some crazy cool stunts and they usually have some dope story behind it so it’s like going to work with your friends or ya know, someone you look up to that then becomes your friend. Number two would be that us stunt performers add the whipcream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and all that extra stuff to the ice cream aka the project. You know the saying, "If you take the action out of the project, what do you have? A very bland movie or show." Every day is fun and filled with action. What advice would you give other stunt people? Hmmmm great question. My advice I would give other stunt people is that safety is everything. A person speaking up can save someone or not get them hurt period. Also, let’s be nice to one another and know that words are powerful… when someone new is starting out, they aren’t going to know everything so if you find yourself wanting to speak badly about someone or talking about how or why they are doing something, be the bigger person and offer them help… we all start somewhere. And we are all family. Anything else you would like to tell the community about? I would like to say that if it wasn’t for Jane Austin and her incredible hubby Kurt Lott, Mike Chat at XMA, Julie Michaels and Peewee Piemonte, and my XMA stunt community, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I’m just getting started, but I am thankful to those who paved the way before me like La Faye Baker, April Weever, Sharon Schaffer, and others who are African American like me that didn’t have it easy. And thanks to Casey Adams for giving me my first job…. and the long list of amazingly talented and awesome stunt coordinators who hired me and thought enough of me to refer to others. Website: Carriebernans.com Instagram: Instagram.com/carriebernans Twitter: Twitter.com/carriebernans Facebook: Facebook.com/carriebernans

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