Term for the actor a stunt actor doubles.
November 20, 2015 1:17 AM   Subscribe

Is there a term among stunt actors for the primary actor they are doubling for? The actor can say, "That's my stunt double." But what does the stunt actor call the other actor?
posted by cthuljew to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I went to the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures website and it's interesting reading. They write:

"Known in the industry as the "unsung heroes" stuntmen have been around since the dawn of filmmaking. Although today they are highly skilled world-class athletes, with technically sophisticated abilities, enabling them to work in the ever advancing forms of film production."

The framing of their work is all about the amazing technical and physical expertise it takes to make films; there's no discussion of the actors for whom they double. I would imagine that's on purpose.

In any case, I just bought an awesome official sweatshirt from their website, so thanks for that.
posted by kinetic at 3:14 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe it's "Principal", or maybe we can make it Principal, according to this book search.

"A Stuntman takes the place of a principal Actor..."
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 4:23 AM on November 20, 2015

Principal actor refers to any actor with over five lines whose role is not big enough to be considered "supporting." It doesn't refer to the stunt performer-actor relationship. Source: I work in TV casting.

I don't know if there is, actually, a term stunt performers use for the actors who perform the role outside of stunts. But "cast" might be closer to it, IMO.
posted by Pearl928 at 5:33 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

In my many years on set (but not in the stunt department) I always heard it phrased as "doubling/doubling for" -- as in, "Who are you doubling for?" "I'm doubling Brad Pitt."
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:31 AM on November 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

Stunt person here, confirming BlahLaLa. It would be elegant to have a specific word for it, now that you mention it, but "the person I'm doubling/doubling for" is what I've always heard and said.
posted by teabiscuit at 9:44 AM on November 20, 2015 [12 favorites]

Awesome. Thank you!
posted by cthuljew at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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