It won’t be an understatement to say that Daredevil as a character has cemented his position among the massive Marvel fandom. Since Netflix also released a full-fledged TV show around Daredevil back in 2015, this character has only soared to new heights in terms of popularity and relevance in the superhero genre.
Interesting story arcs, great action sequences, and whatnot. This series has it all, partly due to the charisma that Charlie Cox possesses as Matt Murdock as he fights crime in the night while defending the law in the morning.
But there’s one man without whom Daredevil wouldn’t be as promising as he is today. That man is none other than Chris Brewster. Chris is a celebrity stunt performer, fight coordinator, and a 2nd unit director who has been an active part of some of the most popular and noteworthy movies and TV shows in the superhero spectrum. He has worked with both DC and Marvel to bring out magnificent fight sequences to life on the screen. He has lent out his exceptional combat expertise in Daredevil, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Loki, and most recently, Black Adam.
Chris has been in the industry for a long time now. He’s been doing martial arts since he was just four years old and grew up wanting to be like Ninja Turtles or Jackie Chan.
We reached out to Chris Brewster to share his story. A man who never gave up on the hands of fate and focused on his craft. He turned his life around and won 13 world titles by competing all across the globe, and he still has no plans to slow down. What made him choose martial arts as a profession, and how his journey shaped him as a person and a performer? You can find his story here.
We, as readers, can surely take a piece of wisdom from Chris’s experiences, but wait, we got more. We asked Chris some questions surrounding superheroes and stunt work. Questions on everything to get our curiosity to rest.
Let’s hear from the man himself, Chris Brewster.
What’s the difference between working as a stunt double for a Marvel/DC project and other films in Hollywood?
Marvel and DC have a huge number of voices, dictating what happens on their projects. The performers and even the directors are very controlled and don’t get a lot of creative input. On other films, there is a much more collaborative experience. Those projects make you feel like a much more integral part of the creative process.
You’ve been in and out of many iconic superhero outfits. Can you tell us what it feels like to be in a superhero costume?
The superhero costumes that you see on TV and the movies are the last thing you would ever wear to fight crime. They look amazing but come with a laundry list of challenges. Some can weigh almost 20 pounds and can make it impossible to do certain movements. That’s where the fun job of getting creative comes in. We tweak the choreography and action design based on the limitations of each costume.
One major hurdle that young people have is how the world looks at stunt doubles. Do big, prominent actors really care about their stunt doubles? Do the real heroes who do the tough job actually get the goods?
The job of a stunt double is to live in the shadows. There are some actors (like Charlie Cox), who go out of their way to give credit to their stunt doubles, but that should never be expected. Our job is to create the illusion that the character on screen is actually doing everything. If the stunt doubles are too well recognized, it will pull the audience out of the fantasy that they are experiencing.
Be it Marvel or DC, Can you share any good/bad experiences in a superhero set with the world?
After every “Oner” that we performed on Daredevil, we had a full crew group hug. The entire crew came together in such a dynamic and seamless way. Those scenes would not have been possible if EVERY single person on set was on top of their game. Those scenes turn a film crew into a family.
Many fans are happy to see Charlie Cox again, but most people feel the work done in the Netflix series is better, and fans are divided over it. The dark, grounded Netflix portrayal or the light, funny one in the MCU? Which Daredevil do you like and why?
There is absolutely no question. Daredevil is meant to be dark and gritty. Charlie is one of the best actors I have ever watched on or off-screen, and I can’t wait to see what he does with this character. However, I truly hope they let Charlie channel the depth and true levels of Matt Murdock.
Disney’s She-Hulk director said Charlie Cox did most of the stunt work, and CGI covered the rest. Actors like Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman, and Tom Holland does their stunts too, and Marvel is heavy on CGI/VFX. What do you think is going to happen in the future? Will stunt doubles have a tough time?
I don’t think stunt doubles will ever not be needed. CGI will always look like a cartoon, and if people want to watch cartoon fights, they’ll watch anime. If they want to see live action, they will always prefer REAL action. When VFX are used to enhance the action, there can be a beautiful marriage between the two. When you fully animate the action, it has no weight, and the audience won’t be invested in what is happening.
As a stunt double and a great action coordinator for superheroes, We love your work and dedication, but do you have any exciting ideas for an action sequence of Daredevil that can top the iconic Hallway fight? If given a chance to surpass it, What would you do?
Before they canceled Daredevil, the stunt team and I created the most epic single-shot hallway fight in history. We were ready to absolutely blow the first three “oners” away with this one. It was going to be an absolutely epic work of art. We designed the most creative texas switches, the most dynamic character-driven choreography, and the most innovative camera work any of us have ever imagined. I still have the blueprints, notes, and references. Hopefully, we get the chance to put it on screen someday.
Any words of advice from your life/experience for a young individual looking to become a fight coordinator or a stunt double who looks up to you Chris?
The best advice I can give is to never stop learning. There is so much talent in the world. In order to be the best, you need to continue growing. I started with a very extensive background in martial arts and acrobatics, which made me a great candidate for a stunt double. But once I started working in stunts, I had to learn how to act, how to play for the camera, how to “dance” with other performers…. I was learning every day that I went to work. Learning how to tell a story with movement opened the door to fight coordinating, and learning how to ensure everybody’s safety while performing action opened the door to stunt coordinating. The love and excitement for storytelling and filmmaking has now opened the door to directing, and I am still learning every day. Don’t ever stop learning!
So this was Chris, An avid learner and an artist staying loyal to his love for storytelling and films in general. Just like him, we, too, can become superheroes in our own right. Getting the job done with utmost diligence. It’s just this much work.
Although what seems hard at first gets easier as we show up consistently. Who knows? We might create something magnificent for others to look up to.
As far as Chris’ professional ventures go, we could see him in Daredevil: Born Again and many other superhero projects in the future. Both for DC and Marvel. One man uniting us all. This is for the fans.
What are your thoughts on Chris Brewster’s responses? We’re pretty sure his take on life will inspire you to raise the bar higher. As the man said, “Don’t ever stop learning!”
Well, That is all for now. Make sure to visit averagebeing.com for more awesome superhero content.