Brie Larson also won an MTV Movie Award, for Best Fight in Captain Marvel. They singled out the “Carol vs. Minn-Erva” fight, which…was that the Nerf gun bit? I assume this is really for the whole third act of Captain Marvel, because Carol and Minn-Erva didn’t really throw down. Larson, wearing half of Mothra, accepted the award alongside her stunt doubles, Renae Moneymaker and Joanna Bennett. She brought them on stage, introduced them, then stepped aside and let them talk. It doesn’t seem like much, but stunt performers are rarely recognized so publicly. Not many actors, especially ones who are proud of ldoing their own stunts”, take the time to recognize the contributions of their stunt doubles.
There should ABSOLUTELY be an Oscar for stunt coordination, and it should be presented on the big night, alongside awards like Best Production Design and Best Cinematography. Stunt coordinators have as much to do with the final look of a film as anyone. And yet, we rarely know the names of the big-time stunt coordinators. Sometimes we learn of them because they break into filmmaking, like Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, who made John Wick.
But do you know who Darrin Prescott is? He’s the stunt coordinator and second unit director—which is the unit responsible for shooting, and often editing, stunts in a movie—for Drive, John Wick and John Wick Chapter 2, Baby Driver, and Black Panther. Prescott has run stunts for some of the most visually distinctive action movies of the decade, but he has not been widely recognized for his contributions to how these films turn out. And he probably never will be, because for every one actor, like Larson, who is willing to single out the stunt performers, there are twenty invested in maintaining the myth that actors do all their own stunts, so the stunt Oscar remains a pipe dream. (Darrin Prescott is currently shooting the second unit on Black Widow, which gives me high hopes for its visual style, though we will never see him at a press conference and he won’t be interview on any red carpets.)
So it matters that a star as high profile as Brie Larson, who plays an action-centric superhero, has recognized her stunt doubles and cited their contributions to how Carol Danvers turned out. And it matters she gave them a chance to speak on stage, because there is no other public opportunity like this for them. Stunt performers have their own award show, but it’s not televised, and the results are not widely reported like they are for the MTV Movie & TV Awards, or the Oscars. Once again, Brie Larson uses her platform to uplift others.