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Zoë Bell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (8)  | Personal Quotes (33)

Overview (4)

Born in Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Birth NameZoë E. Bell
Nickname Zoe the Cat
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

As an established and extremely talented stunt double and actress, Zoe Bell has made a name for herself through her unparalleled dedication, skills, and focus.

Zoe Bell was born on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, to Tish, a nurse, and Andrew Bell, a doctor. She has a background in gymnastics and martial arts. She began working as a stunt woman when she doubled Lucy Lawless on the cult favorite TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (1995). Bell also appeared as a double in the ABC thriller Alias (2001) and on an episode of Cleopatra 2525 in 2000 as a double for Vicki Pratti. In the action packed-documentary Double Dare (2004), Bell, along with legendary stunt-woman Jeannie Epper, give an insight into the career of women who take falls and punches for a living. Double Dare also gives a glimpse into the struggles of stunt-women to stay thin, employed, and sane in a male-dominated career.

After the cancellation of Xena, Bell's next gig was working with Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), playing the stunt double for Uma Thurman's role, The Bride. Bell was nominated for her work in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 in the categories of Best Stunt by a Stunt Woman and Best Fight for the Taurus World Stunt Awards, both of which she would win the following year for Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Bell also showed off her stunt-woman skills as a double for Sharon Stone in Halle Barry's Catwoman (2004).

Bell was injured in the final days of filming, requiring surgery, but she has since recovered and returned to work. Bell appeared along with legendary stunt woman Jeannie Epper in Amanda Micheli's acclaimed documentary Double Dare (2004), which offers a glimpse at the lives and careers of both women, as well as the friendship they share.

Bell debuted her acting career, with her already famous stunt skills, in the double feature Grindhouse (2007) written by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. She was hand-picked, by Tarentino himself, to star in his segment of the double feature, Death Proof, about four women working in the film industry that are stalked by a murderer in his Death Proof car.

Bell, a native of New Zealand, resides in Los Angeles but hopes to someday own a home in New Zealand.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Azure_Girl and Nicole Nassar Public Relations

Trade Mark (1)

Often used as a stunt double for tall actresses, she has doubled for Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) and for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).

Trivia (8)

Was given "The Bells" sign from Jeannie Bell's (assumed name of Vernita Green, played by Vivica A. Fox) yard by Uma Thurman after production wrapped on the Kill Bill films, which she later gave to her parents.
Has a brother, Jake.
At the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, Quentin Tarantino revealed that Zoe had broken bones in her back and she didn't realize it until a month later.
Attended Auckland Girls' Grammar School and Selwyn College.
Was member of the Jury for the official fantastic film selection at the 40th Sitges International Film Festival, on October 2007.
Worked with actress and friend Adrienne Wilkinson on both Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) and Reflections (2008).
When a scene in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 won nominated for an MTV Movie award for best fight, and subsequently won, Zoe Bell accepted the award on Uma Thurman's behalf, appropriately since she was the one who did most of the fighting.
Born on the same date as Rachel McAdams.

Personal Quotes (33)

I think the biggest shift for me is - this is going to sound like a wanky actor, but - getting in touch with, and learning to not just appreciate, but actually really enjoy being a woman. Because for so long I was a jock, and I was an athlete, and I was a tomboy, and people would joke about like, fancy dress, you should go as a girl.
I mean, acting or stunts, doing my job means doing my job, and I'm loving it. It's fun to put my face in front of the camera; I'm really enjoying the process. But at this point, it's still just not too easy to go around describing myself as an actor. It took me a good long while to get to where I could do it not only without laughing, but without trembling a little bit, which is terrible, but... I mean, I was really hesitant to 100 percent walk down that path, to expose myself to that.
My job as a double was always to put [actors] at ease. My job was to make my character, or the actress that I was doubling, look as badass as possible by being there.
I had to paint the picture that I was never scared, otherwise I couldn't do my job. But now, as an actor, I'm literally paid to look emotionally accessible.
My favorite thing in moviemaking is to shoot in chronological order if at all possible, because it just helps for continuity and all the logistical purposes. It also helps with performance and the journey of each character, but I also think it's good for the director and everyone [else] involved.
Actually my relationships with my girlfriends have become that much deeper and more profound, because I'm like, huh, yeah, I don't have to judge you, or you judge me. It was a lot of - I didn't want to be that crazy girlfriend.
When my physicality is involved, it's kind of my comfort zone, so I find it much easier to access emotions.
Part of the joy I'm discovering in acting is the fact that it's uncomfortable to me, that it's challenging, and the possibilities of always being able to improve on something, of always being able to try something new, it's intriguing and exciting.
My job has always been to not only make my character look like a badass but to also make the actor I am fighting opposite to be the character they need to be too.
Some of my best friends are like, "I love that you are just the biggest pussy on the planet." And I have no problem with it at all, I love it. But it took a long time to understand that that's a part of my tapestry.
People are far more protective [of women] instinctively.
I've always appreciated great acting performances, but I've even learned to appreciate not so great ones 'cause it's hard.
I'm a poster child for feminism whether I like it or not, but I was resistant to the part of me that was a woman.
I was interested in seeing how to branch out and sort of use the Internet more as a way of making and promoting movies. There's no real difference in making it successful - it's all down to the dedication of the people involved to make it a success.
I love acting. And if there's a niche that needs filling, I'm happy to get in there and try to fill it.
Humans sort of instinctively respond negatively to something that's not true.
I'm certainly not on a mission to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress, any more than I am just to be able to get roles that are exciting and satisfying to me. If that means action, then that means action.
A couple years in [to acting], I recognized that I developed methods from being a stuntwoman for so long that worked for me that I wasn't aware of. And I had to become aware of them, because I didn't recognize that I could actually apply them across the board.
I love the idea of doing comedy, whether it's action comedy or just straight comedy. It's such a big, new world for me that I'm starting to realize that any character that I relate to, in any way, shape or form, or that I have any appreciation for, given enough preparation, I can find that person.
Feeling fear is a good sign that your survival instincts are intact. You need to appreciate the dangers to stay safe.
When being a stunt double, my job has always a supportive role, which is interesting, really. Part of what I really like about it is making a situation where people can just come out of their shell and be super bad-ass. That's exciting!
In my career as a double, a lot of my job is to not just do the fights to make them look cool, but also to appear as the same person as the actor I am playing.
I would find it more difficult if somebody else was doing the action.
I think because I am a physical person, and because my way of expressing and performing and storytelling or explaining has always been with my body, if I can combine the two I find it really liberating.
What really sells a fight, and any kind of action, is the performance of it. If someone is uncomfortable or uncertain about doing action because they're too concerned about their safety or about being right, it pulls them out of being that character, in that situation.
Being a stunt girl is very much my comfort zone, so I had to remove the comfort zone to step fully into the slightly scarier zone. Also, just being perceived as an actor by the outside world, rather than as the stunt girl who does dialogue, has been a part of the challenge in front of me.
The physical element of a role is something I'm super familiar with, and I love it. I've definitely made the transition into acting over doubling, just because I needed to make it clear to myself, so that I fully committed.
I like the debate, but I don't really like the fight. I don't like being in the ring. I'm not competitive.
Whatever my job description consists of, becomes my job. Maybe it's just the way I tackle work, in general.
There is an art to acting, and there are techniques that are acquired. You can be as emotional as you'd like, as a person, but figuring out ways that you can bring specific emotions at specific times and have them be true, and relating to someone as someone that they're not, is a lot.
Having been a stunt girl for so long, a big part of my job was to not just make the other person look as cool as they could, but also to act as a support. My job was to make them as safe as they could be, so that they could be as explosive and as emotionally engaged as they could be.
I'm completely at ease on a set. I'm pretty comfortable most places, but hitting the mark and knowing set etiquette and understanding cameras and lenses are second nature. It's a language I've spoken for years.
The thing that I come across is that people think that I might actually be super aggressive, want-to-fight type in real life. The irony is that that's just not true, at all.

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