Evangeline Lilly says she was intentionally injured by a 'misogynistic' stunt co-ordinator on 'Lost'
A key part of moviemaking that is often overlooked by audiences and awards ceremonies is the art of stunts. The amount of skill and experience needed to pull of even the simplest of moves without getting injured, all the while making it looks as good as you can for the camera is considerable. There are plenty of stunt performers out there putting in the hard work and getting very little recognition - while no one can stop praising Tom Cruise for doing the same thing.
Women working in this part of the industry are said to suffer from discrimination on the set of various productions, with even their jobs going to men in a practice called 'wigging'. This involves stuntmen in wearing wigs and women's clothing to pose as actresses, taking away jobs from women who were perfectly capable.
"There are qualified people of every ethnic group and gender," Black Panther stuntwoman Janeshia Adams-Ginyard said. "Wigging should not be taking place." Adams-Ginyard was on stage at a Fox panel about women in the stunt trade this week, where they talked about their experiences in the industry.
Also on stage was actress Evangeline Lily, along with her Ant-Man and the Wasp stunt double Ingrid Kleinig. The Canadian actress spoke about her own experiences on the set of Lost, including one incident with stunt co-ordinator she referred to as "misogynistic". During one scene in which her character, Kate, had to roll and then hang from a tree branch for her life, she believes the injuries she sustained were down to the unnamed stunt co-ordinator punishing her for standing up to him.
She flayed the skin off both of her forearms from the stunt, which she chose to do herself against his wishes. “There were open wounds, pus-y and oozing," she explained. "I looked like a mutant. My mom said, ‘You’ll never be able to wear an evening gown again'."
Deadline reports that the stunt she is referring to showed up in the final season of the show, and she was harnessed to the branch with no chance of falling. She requested some moleskin, a light fabric used in stunts to prevent abrasions, but was told she couldn't use it as viewers would "see it".
She was then allegedly instructed to perform the stunt again and again without the protection, with the bark eventually ripping her skin. After each take, New Skin - a liquid-bandage brand - was painfully applied to her wounds, with each attempt more painful than the last.
"I felt it was him saying, ‘I’m going to put you in your place for standing up to me,’" Lily said. "It was either cow to his power or hurt myself. I was in my 20s then. Now, I would probably back down."
With all the talk about sexism and sexual misconduct in Hollywood over the last year, it's worth remembering that these moments of discrimination can happen in all forms and on all levels of a film production.