Kicking ass on Blindspot
Blindspot airs every Sunday at 8.30pm
We talk to Ky Furneaux, the Aussie stunt double who stands in for Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe in Blindspot, when the going gets tough!
Ky's athletic ability and fight training has helped her land some notable stuntwoman jobs, including "The Avengers", "Thor", "X-Men", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Hancock" and many more.
She was named 2012 World Stunt Woman of the year at the World Taurus Stunt Awards, the stunt world's equivalent of an Oscar win.
Tell us about your background and how
you landed the part?
I have an extensive background in fighting and stunt work having been a stunt performer for over 12 years. My training started with kickboxing, taekwondo and weapons and continued over the years depending on what each show required.
I landed the part doubling Jaimie on Blindspot as I have been her double for over 10 years and since the role required a lot of fighting, I was also the right stunt performer for the job.
What's the best thing about being on a show like Blindspot?
I love being on Blindspot because I get to do so many fight sequences using a lot of different techniques. They are my favorite type of stunts to do.
What does a typical day on set look like?
There is no typical day on a set like Blindspot since we are always doing interesting and different types of sequences. But there are some routines in a day for sure. When I get to set I usually head to the hair and make-up trailer to get tattoos, make-up and hair done to make me look like the character of Jane Doe. It depends on how busy the make-up trailer is to which gets done first but I don't leave until all three are done.
I then head back to my dressing room and get into wardrobe to finish the look.
Depending on the stunt I am doing that day, I will make sure I have the appropriate pads underneath my wardrobe.
When the filming crew is ready for the scene I'm in, I head to set. If it's a fight sequence, I walk through it for the crew so they can plan the lighting and camera angles. I may run it through with Jaimie and the people she is fighting a few times to remind everyone of the moves and get used to the fight in the environment. A typical fight can take anywhere from 4 hours to 10 hours to film depending on its complexity.
We usually have long filming days on Blindspot so a normal day is usually 10-14 hours.
Once the filming is done, Jaimie and I have to get the tattoos removed and I get my wig taken off. That whole process usually takes about an hour and then we can head home and sleep, ready to do it all again the next day.
Do you and Jaimie both get the tattoos done at the same time?
Sometimes we do.
If so, how do you both get through the make up?
We each have our own tattoo applier who is also our make-up artist. This means we can get through the process at the same time. Our amazing hairdresser, Dennis, just works around the tattoo application and does us one at a time which means we can finish the process at the same time.
Tell us what has been your favourite stunt to perform on Blindspot so far?
I love most of the long fight sequences but my favorite fights have been the cemetery fight in episode 5 and a fight that I can't label but that occurs in episode 12 so you will have to look out for that. I also really enjoyed the motorbike stunts we got to do. The sequence got cut down quite a bit but we got to speed around on motorbikes for about 6 hours which was fun.
How much does Jaimie want to do the stunts and how hard is it to tell her that you're stepping in for her?
Jaimie always wants to do her own stunts but we have worked together for so long and I know her skills and what is possible and safe for her so she trusts me when I tell her she can or can't do something. We have such a close friendship that it's never hard for me to tell her I'm stepping in when it's for her own safety.
You've been working with Jaimie for a while now with various Marvel movies; how did the collaboration come together in the first place?
Jaimie was working on a TV show called Kyle XY in Vancouver. The stunt co-ordinator of that show brought in all the stunt girls in Vancouver and asked them to do a fight sequence in front of Jaimie. She then chose the double she wanted, which was me.
What's the toughest scene or movie you've shot?
On Pirates of the Caribbean 4, I was a stunt mermaid. We were what the pretty mermaids turned into when they were mad and wanted to drown the pirates. That involved about 4 weeks of treading water all night in a freezing tank at Universal Studios in a motion capture suit. We had to do a lot of underwater stuff and when we came up for air, we were meant to be screaming so rarely did we get a good breath of oxygen and we usually just swallowed a ton of nasty water. We were also surrounded by people "drowning" so you never knew who was going to grab you and hold you under the water by mistake. Apparently being a mermaid is not as glamorous as it looks!