Woman King Fight Choreographer Shares Inspirational On-Set Moments and Why the Film Matters to the Stunt Industry
The female king is more than an action-packed historical drama, it’s a rare outing featuring female dark warriors in a big-screen movie based on true events. It’s safe to say, be on the set of the film directed by Viola Davis was not the average on-set experience for its cast and crew. As Jénel Stevens, the film’s fight choreographer and Davis’ stunt double shared with CinemaBlend, shooting the film was full of emotion and empowerment.
jenel stevens has done stunt work on many big budget movies and TV shows, including Black Panther. When she spoke with CinemaBlend about the energy on set of The female king, it is clear that she had an unforgettable experience on the film by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Stevens said this:
The female king follows Viola Davis’s General Naniska, who is the leader of the all-female warrior unit of Agojie, which really protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the 1600s to 1904. The film also with Lashana Lynch, John Boyega among its cast stacked allows a story of powerful black women to take center stage and on set, the cast and crew could truly feel the significance and joy of having this moment on film.
The movie release 2022who is now playing in theaters, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews. As Jénel Stevens pointed out, having a film like this is not just important for the portrayal of black women’s history on screen, but for the stunt industry. In his words:
Jénel Stevens also told us that Viola Davis has done pretty much everything you see her do in the film, but with The female king, a ton of work had to go into the stunt department and the practice and battle choreography. As Stevens shared, there’s a lot of groundwork that stunt teams and choreographers do to help make these movies possible, but when it comes to The female kingshe really appreciated the additional industry research to make this storytelling possible.
While there isn’t enough diversity in movie roles in general, we’ve yet to see such a large group of female warriors not only featured, but given the opportunity and care that The female king gives Agojie women. You can consult The female king in theaters now and find out CinemaBlend Interview with Director Gina Prince-Bythewood to learn more behind the scenes of the film.