'Lord of the RIngs' was the goal, Accidental Stuntwoman finds work on 'Ivanhoe'
Lichen June went to New Zealand to get a job working on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. She didn’t have an interview, but she did have skills to work on the crew. At the Northwest Comic Fest, June talked about becoming the Accidental Stuntwoman and the adventures she had while on set in New Zealand.
“It never occurred to me that I would try out to be a stuntwoman,” says June. While she was able to talk her way into the studio working on Lord of the Rings, they had all of the crew they needed. She wanted to stay in New Zealand in case something opened up, so she began looking for jobs.
She found the British show Ivanhoe. She sent them the same bold letter she had sent to the studios filming Lord of the Rings proclaiming that she was the woman they would want beside them in battle. There was no crew work, but she was the right size and coloring to double for the heroine in the film.
She auditioned for Sam Williams, the stuntman who doubled for Kevin Sorbo in the Hercules series. When Williams threw a slow punch and held the fist near her chest, he asked what she would do. She drew upon her aikido training, stepped out of the way while grabbing the wrist and told him she that the continuation would be allowing him to fall to the ground using his momentum. He smiled and said that most people don’t know enough to get out of the way.
After the interview that consisted of some tumbling exercises, Williams spoke as if she already had the job. However, the producer shooed her away with a flick of the wrist, and she wasn’t hired. Still wanting to work in New Zealand, June decided to see if Lord of the Rings needed stuntwomen.
She found the number for Bruce Brown, the stuntman in charge and gave him a call. Brown brought her in for an interview and asked her how she found his number. She said that it was in his ad in the back of the movie industry magazine she had. No one else had used that number to get in touch with him. She would have been hired, but floods pushed back the shooting schedule.
Still not wanting to leave New Zealand, June decided to see if she could shadow Williams on set just to get a feel for the way things work and maybe pick up a hint or two. When she arrived, Williams hired her for a stunt, and June became a stuntee in New Zealand.
June is currently the Director of the NW Permaculture Institute. She is working on writing the stories about her stunt days in New Zealand.
Read more about Northwest Comic Fest 2015