Dame Helen Mirren wishes the “craftsmen” of the stunt world could join her in the Academy Award winner’s circle. “There really should be an Oscar for stunt work,” she told the UK site Female First. “These guys are incredible and they’re so careful and so professional. And they’re artists. They do amazing things.”
This decade, Mirren has shaken up her 50-year career with roles in a pair of action films — “Red” and “The Fate of the Furious” — an opportunity she credits to winning her own gold statuette for “The Queen” in 2007. She’d had the desire to kick literal onscreen ass for quite some time: “I put it out there and then I begged. That was one of the wonderful advantages of winning an Oscar. I got to be in action movies!” Her tentpole collaborators Robert Schwentke and F. Gary Gray “love having Oscar winners in their action movies,” she explained.
“The Fate of the Furious” was the eighth installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Jack Gill, who worked stunt coordinator on both films, has unsuccessfully petitioned The Academy to add a category for stunt performers since 1991. In 2007, SAG-AFTRA introduced SAG Awards for stunt ensemble work in film and television (“Wonder Woman” and “Game of Thrones” produced this year’s winners). Among stunt performers, the highest honor remains the Taurus World Stunt Awards; the voting period to recognize triumphs like “Best Fight,” “Hardest Hit,” and “Best Work with a Vehicle” ends this Friday, ahead of a May ceremony (view the nominees here).
Stunt work isn’t the only overlooked category on film’s biggest night: The Academy installed a branch for casting directors in 2013 — after declining three proposals to do so since 1996 — but still fails to celebrate them with a trophy.
IndieWire has reached out to the Academy and Mirren’s representative for further comment.