Lisa Chandler recently appeared in the Netflix Original series Altered Carbon and our writer Erin had the chance to discuss her work as an actress and stunt woman. Thank you Ms. Chandler for taking the time to answer our digital questions.
How did you become interested in stunt work?
I was working as a stand in on two films back to back and saw the stunt department rehearsing and I was amazed at everyone! I asked every question I could think of to the stunt coordinator and asked if they needed an extra hand on set. I very curious and wanted to be apart of that side of the film so when I was asked to double their main actress for a small stunt on their 2nd unit, I was ecstatic! They knew I was dying to be apart of the stunt department and I was, and still am, thrilled that I was able to be offered a small (but huge to me) offering. From there, I started to conduct a resume and put everything physical on it from literally birth.
What sort of training did you have to go through?
I’m always training. That’s the beauty of the biz. You’re always learning. I have a hockey, track and field and swimming background so I used those skill sets as a foundation for my career. With that being said, I started to hop into an physical class I could come across. I took up taekwondo, boxing, kali sticks, bow staf, BJJ, and mainly anything under the martial arts umbrella. I love getting in the water and training free diving. That’s a ‘calm rush’ I like to call it.
What have been some of you most challenging stunts?
There’s adrenaline pumping with mostly any stunt your going to perform, however I feel water stunts can be challenging as your dealing with many elements. Water, gases, lack of communication with speakers underwater, setting up for the shot again can take a little longer than on land. You have to have patients and a strong breath hold for sure. Being calm is a huge part of it. Once you ‘loose it mentally’ down below, it’s hard to regain your composure for the rest of the day.
When you are involved in different projects, does the genre of the production impact the sort of stunts you do?
Kind of. I find that would be the ‘acting’ in between that would be altered/adjusted according to the genre.
In Altered Carbon, what was it like playing a role 700 years in the future?
It was interesting! It was less than 700 years but still far far far away from now. The character still is going to be a ‘human’ as much as today, however some elements were ‘altered'(see what I did there ;). Meaning this can be justified a tad easier than today’s current time ;ex. the moral and ethics of ‘re-sleeving is used as a power tool and a class system and people are cast aside and disposed of more easily without consequences or formal judgement.
Did you do your own stunts while playing Mary-Lou?
What has been your favourite part of being involved in Altered Carbon?
The cast and crew and the fan base that supports the show! It’s been surreal! People have been binge watching it globally and their thoughts/opinions are amazing! Some people really get into it and tell their own version of how they would like to to live in the books’ “world”. I love hearing people’s enthusiasm and passion for something that I have been blessed to be apart of. It’s awesome!
Any favourite on set memories?
Everyday was so different and amazing but just being part of something this large was truly an eye opener and an extraordinary experience .
What drew you to this role?
Just being part of the show was a huge draw! I loved that she(Mary Lou) had some time in the water as well a stunt. But then reading who Mary Lou was and her struggle, I started to immediately care for her vs judge her and her ways of living. There was a innocence about her that seemed very sad, real and that I could relate on a empathetic level. I wanted the challenge.
What was it like on the Supergirl set for season two?
Supergirl!! Whoop whoop! Season 2 was amazing! We’re shooting Season 3 now and it’s packed with action!!!! I love the cast and the crew is amazing! Everyone works in synch with one another and it just goes with an ease and a flow.
As a Supernatural stunt person, what was it like working with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki?
Haha! Those two are true Superheros. 13 seasons, can you believe that? They’re just insane! So talented, kind, hard working and literally the nicest guys you’d come across on set.
Any advice for young women who want to do what you?
Do your research! If your passion over rides your ego and people talking negatively about doing something that is ‘hard to get into’ just shove those opinions aside and follow your passion. Search anything and everything you can related to stunts and ask questions!
Where can people find you on social media?
Instagram ! I’m always posting behind the scenes pics and videos about set life : Lisa_Chandler_
Thank you again to Ms. Chandler and make sure to check her out in Altered Carbon and on her social media!