Stuntwoman and actress, Keisha Tucker

©Marija Abney

Black Stuntwomen Are Here to Stay: A Conversation with Keisha Tucker

“Hopefully, people will see that we are not people to look over.”

Click now to read our conversation with Keisha Tucker: stuntwoman for Black Panther, Captain Marvel & more!

Keisha Tucker is a member of one of Hollywood’s most superlative, small, but growing, community of performers — Black stuntwomen. Historically overlooked, discounted, and (painstakingly) undervalued, Black female stunt performers have spent decades fighting for the opportunities and recognition that their white male counterparts naturally receive. 

Behind some of the industry’s most exciting action sequences, Black stuntwomen are slowly starting to receive the recognition and opportunities that they deserve. 

Tucker is both an actress and a stuntwoman with over a decade of experience. However, it is her work as a stuntwoman that takes up the majority space of her resume. Her credentials as a stuntwoman include How to Get Away with Murder, Black Panther, Ant Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Us, American Horror Story, 911, 911: Lone Star, Snowfall, Without Remorse, and the anticipated, Don’t Worry Darling

I had the pleasure of speaking with Tucker while she filmed an upcoming project in Rome. We discussed her career, her roots, and her aspirations for the future. A hint: it is only the beginning.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Featured Image: ©Marija Abney

Stuntwoman and actress, Keisha Tucker
Stuntwoman and actress, Keisha Tucker ©Brionna Lynch
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

Ashley Willis: How was it growing up in Randolph — a smaller, diverse community? Did you feel a sense of belonging because you were in a community of others who looked like you?  

Keisha Tucker: I felt very lucky to grow up in such a diverse community. There were so many different races and I really feel the benefits of growing up around that now. It was also close to Boston so you still get a sense of the big city. My Mom would take me there; sometimes, we’d go to Faneuil Hall.

AW: What did growing up in Randolph teach you about yourself?

KT: It teaches you that you are just one small person in a big city, but it also taught me that I have so much more to learn. [It] made me feel I have so much more to see and so much more to explore. It was just the beginning.

AW: What inspired you to get into acting?

KT: It’s definitely something that I’ve always wanted to do since I can remember. I can remember wanting to be a doctor before I wanted to be an entertainer — an actor. But I knew that this is what I’m supposed to be doing quite quickly. I can remember always mimicking actors and trying to replicate what they would do and just always making my family and friends laugh. I was always the class clown, I love making people laugh and just being goofy.

AW: You played in band in high school, right?

KT: I did! Yes. 

AW: What instrument did you play?

KT: I played the alto saxophone. I wanted to play everything. Once you start playing one instrument, you’re like, “Oh, well now I try to play the drums.” I never got that far to start playing— being good at more instruments.

AW: Did you do drama or theater in high school?

KT: Well, there was a little bit of theater in high school but I didn’t do much of it ‘cuz I already was doing so much that I couldn’t get into the drama classes. I did take like a little theater class but most of when I went into theater [sic] is when I went to college at UMass Amherst [University at Massachusetts of Amherst]. I majored in theater. 

AW: Do you feel like attending the University at Massachusetts of Amherst helped prepare you for your career? Do you feel like it opened doors for you with networking?

KT: I’m not sure about networking and everything but it did prepare me as far as learning different techniques in acting, like taking movement classes and voice classes and things that you wouldn’t think would help you in the theater that would help you also on film. It all really does help. People say that, if you’re in theater, you should do theater, it’s bigger and more exaggerated than film …. but you can translate it [theater to film] very well if you’re used to real life. It’s not too, too different as people think it is.

AW: You were the speaker for the University of Massachusetts homecoming in 2018. How was it going back to your old stomping grounds — to be invited back — to give a speech to the future “Keisha’s” of the world?

KT: That was crazy. That was definitely a big honor. I feel like I wasn’t that worthy. I just talked about what I knew and what I’ve been through. [It] was really cool because I hadn’t been back there in so long and to be invited back, something I never thought [would happen], to talk about my career. It was a blessing. 

AW: That’s so cool. Did you feel a sense of hopefulness and positivity and excitement from the young people there you were speaking to? 

KT: Yeah! I did definitely feel a sense of hopefulness. Like, “maybe I can do something like that too,” even if it didn’t relate too much to their careers. Some people start in one thing and wanna venture out to other things because it’s related. Or it has something to do with entertainment and people get a hope [sic] that they grew up in a small town, maybe I can do it too. That sort of thing. Even though I’m not as far as I wanna get yet, it feels nice to be where some people wanna be, I guess.

AW: To be recognized and acknowledged for the hard work that you put in to what you do.

KT: Right. And I make sure to tell people that there’s a lot more to go.

AW: When did you move to LA?

KT: I moved right after college. Same year that I graduated, [the] end of 2006. I think I graduated that summer. I wasn’t even able to attend the graduation ‘cuz I was working for Marvel Character Appearances at the time.

AW: That’s gotta be some kind of manifestation or something.

KT: Yeah, it’s really crazy. I played Storm in Marvel Character Appearances and now I’m doing Marvel movies. [Laughs]

Keisha Tucker (L) performed stunts for Lashana Lynch (R) in Captain Marvel
Keisha Tucker (L) performed stunts for Lashana Lynch (R) in Captain Marvel
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

AW: What challenges did you face in LA?

KT: There’s so many people out here. The challenge of just being relevant is a big challenge ‘cuz there’s so many people and so many people to be thought of. People come out here and they’re like, “Oh, I got a friend I’m gonna— I know this person and that person.” But the people they know are trying to get themselves somewhere too. You meet so many people every day that it’s easy to forget about somebody, so to stay seen and relevant is [a] pretty big challenge. But to keep your skills up in the midst of pandemics and stuff. [Laughs] And keeping your finances up and trying to keep your skills up an— All that stuff. All the life stuff!

AW: How did you go about finding work? 

KT: I just wouldn’t stop. I would just keep searching anything to do with entertainment. Newspapers back then, more than online. [Laughs] Just trying to look for auditions and look for background work, anything on TV. I worked at Six Flags Universal Studios. Just anything that would relate to entertainment. [I] even worked at a restaurant at one point.

AW: Did you find it difficult as a Black actress compared to your white counterparts? Other challenges you faced? 

KT: Yes. It was pretty difficult. I had this mentality though that probably hurt me when I was first around. I didn’t see many Black women doing it [acting and stunt work]. It was like, “Okay.” And then once I was doing it, I was like, “People would know who I am.” They know where to find me, you know? I wouldn’t really hustle as much as I should have because I thought people would know who I am. They know where to find me and done deal. But that’s not the case. You still have to show your face and hustle and be relevant. And I feel like there’s definitely a change in having Black women on screen right now. There’s definitely more opportunities than there were in the last five years. 

Because for acting, you need the stunt doubles for the actor, right? So, if there weren’t a lot of Black leads, then they don’t need a lot of stunt Black doubles.

AW: Are you seeing a shift in the type of Black women-led roles?

KT: Oh yeah. There’s definitely less one-line— lead characters that are just opposite of the men and more powerful characters that are superheroes and regular, or ordinary, girl-next-door, faulty characters that are more human beings. We’re goofy. We’re silly. We have flaws. Our characters are having fun on TV instead of just being in trouble, prostitutes, or, you know, down-and-out crackheads, or whatever. They’re starting to make more of a change and I love that. 

AW: How did you get into stunt work specifically? Was it something that you thought you wanted to do?

KT: I didn’t know I wanted to do it until I got out here and started getting into acting. I started doing background work to try to get into the union, SAG-AFTRA. It was SAG at first. When I started doing background work, I would see people doing stunt work and just be so curious and ask how to get there and where people trained and how people did things. I would gather little information here and there and just try to follow it. 

Keisha Tucker as a stunt actor in The Rookie
Keisha Tucker as a stunt actor in The Rookie

AW: Were people pretty helpful in sharing information? 

KT: Oh yeah. If you ask questions, people will tell you at least a little bit of it. Always ask questions and your questions will be answered and just follow those cuz people will ask questions and they won’t even take advice. And that’s where you might go wrong; people are giving you advice, you know, take it and try a lane. It won’t hurt, but not everybody’s road is the path that you need to be on. You need to take your own path sometimes.

AW: On the differences between being a stunt performer and being an actress — I read that it isn’t very common for stunt performers to have agents, is that correct?

KT: Yeah, some stunt performers do but a lot of people who are stunt people and actors definitely have agents. But getting stunt work is more of a “I know you, I hustle you” type [of] thing. It’s more of a smaller industry, so it’s more of how you fit the character. It’s your height, maybe your complexion sometimes, your ethnicity. More of that goes into play for stunts than your acting ability. 

AW: Did you always have an agent when you went out for work as a stunt woman or did you acquire one later?

KT: Yeah, I always had an agent while being in stunts because I wanted to be an actor as well, but some people, they’re in stunts and they don’t wanna do any lines. They don’t wanna act. So they don’t feel the need to get an agent because all they need to do is send a selfie and send a clip of them either fighting, swimming, doing a high fall, or something. 

AW: So, for stunt performance, it’s word of mouth. “Hey, I know this person,” or “Hey, do you know about this job?” type of thing. Kind of telling one another?

KT: Exactly. The coordinators, the stunt coordinators, second unit directors — who are often stunt coordinators also — they’ll tell their friends, “Hey, this guy worked for me. He did a great job. This is what he did. You can hire him too.” It’s definitely more word of mouth. 

AW: How did Black Panther come about? 

KT: There was a stunt woman that I’ve worked with before and she mentioned my name because she was already on the project. They were looking for people and she brought my name up and the person who was hiring contacted me. I sent them my stuff and they said, “Perfect.” 

So once I sent them the email and they said, “Are you willing to do this? Can you do this?” It’s more of a trust thing when you’re in stunts in the U.S.

Keisha Tucker gearing up for the heart-racing car chase in Black Panther
Keisha Tucker gearing up for the heart-racing car chase in Black Panther.
Tucker was both a stunt actor as a member of the Dora Milaje and a stunt double for Danai Gurira

AW: Did you feel that experience opened doors for you as a stunt woman? 

KT: Yes, I definitely think it opened doors for me on other projects and opened up some skills too because sometimes you might learn skills or learn etiquettes on one set that translate to another set. Like learning certain weapons skills on Black Panther have come into play with other films, for sure.

AW: How important was it being a gymnast and a dancer before doing all the work you’re doing now? Do you feel that it helped?

KT: I really feel like being an athlete definitely helped. Learning choreography from dancing and just being athletic and learning aerial awareness as a gymnast. It all helps. For sure. 

AW: Are you trained in other areas of stunt work? Like stunt driving, tactical work, or horseback riding? 

KT: Yeah, after Black Panther, I delved more into those types of things after seeing— the more you see and the more you’re like, “Oh my God, I wanna do that.” And, “I think I could do that. I’m interested in that,” the more you put your money towards training and things. So when I was on Black Panther, [I] never seen people drive the way that those stunt people were driving and I wanted to get into that, so I started taking stunt driving lessons and here I am sliding around cars now. That led to me wanting to ride dirt bikes and motorcycles, and that led to me— you know? I’ve been training and horseback riding, diving, and driving all sorts of things. 

AW: Diving as in water or out a plane? 

KT: Oh! Scuba diving, sorry, scuba diving. I’ve been scuba diving certified and freediving certified as well. Trying to just gain skills to do other jobs basically and I think they’re also fun. I won’t do stuff that I don’t think is fun but it’s all fun.

AW: Would you say that the scene of you on the car doubling for Danai as Okoye made you feel like, “Oh, I gotta try driving. This is awesome.”?

KT: Yeah! Basically, yes. [Laughs] I was like, “I wanna do what they’re doing.” That’s exactly what happened.  

AW: As a Black stuntwoman, maybe you’ve heard of “painting down” [the practice of painting a white stunt performer to appear darker in complexion] and “wigging” [the practice of putting wigs and/or women’s clothing on male stuntmen to perform stunts for female actresses]. Have you ever been in that scenario or been around it?

KT: Oh, yeah! I mean, I’ve heard of it and it is just so easy for people to be like, “Oh, you can’t find anybody. Well, is the character wearing a helmet? Well, just put me in it. I’ll— you know, we can— if, the character’s not seen.” Well, guess what? No girl can go inside a guy’s character and do the same thing. They would never do that. They would never say, “Oh, just get a girl to do it. There’s a helmet anyway.” And, you know, for people who do have the skill and that are available, it’s insulting to them because they could have done the job. 

As a female, as a Black female, instead of having a white male or whoever do it, if they don’t need to, if they can find the right person, then why not hire the right person? It’s baffling sometimes that people think that that’s right. But I’m glad people are starting to see that there’s something wrong with just accepting someone else for a character that can be totally fulfilled by the same race or the same gender.

AW: There’s been an ample amount of stuntwomen out there who can fill these roles and hearing about Quentin Tarantino’s 2007s, Death Race and the wigging incident from that and as recent as 2014, with Gotham, and Jada Pinkett Smith’s character being painted down [the situation was later rectified after the incident was made public and controversy ensued]. It’s just kind of crazy. Like you said, in all the recent years that these things have happened, they continue to happen. 

KT: Right, right. There’s more and more amazing, Black, female, stunt women that are coming up in the industry. And hopefully, people will see that we are not people to look over. That we need to be trained and be given the chance to do something that we are fit to do.

AW: There are a great amount of up-and-coming Black stunt women out there. And, as you said, there’s really no excuse at this point.

KT: Right. There’s so much more than when I was coming up 10 years ago. 

Stunt performer, Keisha Tucker
Stuntwoman, Keisha Tucker
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

AW: Do you feel like there is Black mentorship for the young women coming in to stunt performing?

KT: There is some here and there. For sure. There’s people that are willing to give their wisdom and show people the ropes. But since there’s not a lot of us— I wish I could give more mentoring [laughs] but most of the time, I don’t feel like I’m worthy of even mentoring people because I’m still learning myself, every day. It’s one of those things where you just have to dive right into it and ask everybody and anyone for any type of information and just run with that.

AW: There’s a stunt woman, Jazzy Ellis, I believe, was saying— 

KT: Yeah! I’ve heard of her, for sure. She’s awesome.

AW:  Yeah, she’s been doing stunts for eight years and was told that it’s still very fresh in your career. 

KT: Even after eight years, for sure. I still ask a lot of questions and I know that I’m not new, but I open my ears to everything because you’re always learning. No matter what.

AW: Have you found a mentor for either stunt performing or an actress that you’ve looked up to and go to for advice?

KT: For acting, not really. I’m still trying to get more into that as in trying to get more seen [sic] and trying to get more roles and still haven’t really— I mean, I’m also the type of person that feels, which I need to get over, I feel bad bothering people and trying to get a mentor, ‘cuz I know that it’s [a] hard thing to do, right? If everybody’s everybody’s asking you, “Oh, how do I do this? And can you be my mentor?” And just that word to me sounds so scary. [Laughs] I don’t know. I can’t— I don’t know how to be a mentor. [Laughs]

AW: Have you had the pleasure of meeting any of the Black stunt performers who have come before your generation? 

KT: Yes, I have. I haven’t met any of the older ones [from] the seventies or anything, but I’ve definitely met a lot of the Black female stunt performers that have come before me and have gotten to talk to them [and] relate. They’re great. They’re very willing to help.

AW: Have you come across Jadie David, Calvin Brown, Lafaye Baker? Any of them? 

KT: Yes! Lafaye Baker. She’s amazing. April Weeden, Anjelika Washington, Sharon Shaffer, D. [Dartenea] Bryant. Those are all people that have come before me that I’ve gotten to work with and know they’re amazing. 

AW: Do you feel there’s a sense of community for Black stuntwomen in the industry? I actually read that there was a stuntwoman who was told by white stuntmen to not befriend other stunt performers with her build and skin complexion, which was, of course, Black women. She was like, “So what am I supposed to do?” Have you been given similar advice or do you notice more comradery between everyone?

KT: I haven’t been given that advice but I have been told a cert— like I’ve been expressed a certain mentality that people think. I’ve been told one time, “Oh, I don’t know what it is—” specifically to car driving, “Oh, people, for some reason, Black women will get into it but they never continue all the way through to get to where it— what it takes to be a stunt driver.” Yeah, just stuff like that. When people say things like that, [it] makes me wanna try and prove ’em wrong, even though [I’m] also headed in the acting direction. But I hope there are a lot of people out there that does prove that type of mentality wrong.

AW: Do you have any interest in being a stunt coordinator or is that something you’re just not interested in doing? 

KT: Not interested in being a stunt coordinator. [Laughs] I wish I was because people want me to be and that’s where people tend to head when they’re done throwing themselves downstairs and stuff. When they’re done twisting ankles and stuff, that’s where people tend to go. But I feel like it’s more responsibility and I just don’t want that. I don’t know if I want to delegate people’s lives on lines [being responsible for one’s life on the line] and getting teams together. I’m just a performer at heart and I’m not done with performing yet. I don’t think I will be for awhile. 

AW: Do you think you’re seeing more Black stunt coordinators or is that still very rare? 

KT: It’s rare but I do see more and more. I think people just need to be shown the ropes more and need more people on their side and on their team [who are] willing to get people to come together for the project.

AW: Would you say organizations have been helpful? Like the Black Stuntman Association or [the] Stunt POC website? 

KT: Oh! Man. Stunt POC website, Jwaundace Candace, she’s amazing. She’s another person that was in the business way before me and that I looked up to. And I think there should be more things like that. She’s amazing for doing that website. It’s definitely helpful. Because people just don’t know where— they say, “Oh, we don’t know where to find— we don’t know any black people. We don’t know—” They just make excuses to not look. But now we need to make less excuses for them [laughs] to find people and I love that she made this website. Hopefully, there will be more.

Tucker wears Stunt POC apparel to show her support for a more inclusive stunt performer community
Tucker wears Stunt POC apparel to show her support for a more inclusive stunt community
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

AW: Can you explain a time when something went wrong, or not as planned, when doing a stunt? How did you manage that?

KT: I don’t think that anything ever went too wrong, luckily. In my career, I haven’t done anything crazy, more than bumps and bruises or whatever, and that’s always just a fluke. Yeah, I don’t think anything ever really went too wrong in something that I’ve done. 

AW: Do you have a “scariest stunt?” Maybe the car scene [in Black Panther] or something like that? 

KT: That wasn’t too scary for me, actually. [Laughs] [It] kinda was really fun and I saw it as a challenge to be as solid as I could and just get the job done. I find learning long fights harder than a lot of things that I’ve done because I’m terrible at— I mean, I’m not the greatest at memory, but being a dancer, I’m used to trying to memorize things. So moves and sequences— Yeah, I feel like I can’t mention the job that I’m on right now, but the job that I’m on right now is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. [Laughs] This is probably the scariest stuff that I’ve ever done. 

AW: Have you ever turned down a job where you just didn’t feel comfortable doing something?

KT: No, thankfully. I’ve heard of stuff though, where somebody got burnt or somebody hurt themselves on this thing that I didn’t think was right. I’ve heard of stuff like that but it’s never happened to me. Thank God.

AW: How can you, to the best that you can, ensure your safety before performing a stunt or [before] saying yes to a job?  

KT: Just researching the people who are involved — that are working with you [and] have your safety on the line. Researching how certain rigs work. Researching who people are might help. Asking questions when you’re doing stuff so, “How far up am I going? How many pounds does this hold?” Just having the confidence in whoever is helping with the stunt is key. If there’s no confidence, or no trust, or [if] there’s doubts, then you definitely have to say something; speak up and try to find out what’s going on. 

AW: So far, what has been your favorite movie as a stuntwoman and why? You can use the one that you’re doing now. You can include that as well. 

KT: [Laughs] Black Panther was one of the favorites just because it’s made such a big impact and it’s some of the most different stunts that I’ve done. When are you gonna ever be able to ride on top of a car on a movie? I’ve never done that before or after and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that again. So that’s definitely something that held a special place in my heart. Everything else it’s stuff that I’ve done before and everything’s just really fun. I just love being on set. Without Remorse was amazing because that was my first time being in Europe. I got to film Without Remorse in Germany. So that’s another big thing where I was really involved in doubling the main actor. That was something.

Keisha Tucker with Michael B. Jordan on the set of Without Remorse
Keisha Tucker with Michael B. Jordan on the set of Without Remorse
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

AW: What’s your favorite movie that you worked on as an actress?

KT: There is an independent movie, or it’s a short film that I worked on, that’s being turned into a feature film that I will be doing soon [called] Ex Gratia. That one is my favorite because it’s the first big lead role in a sci-fi film that I’ve done and I can’t wait to see more of what we’re gonna do. And I can’t wait to film the feature version of it.

AW: That’s exciting. Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve worked on a lot of psychological thrillers, sci-fi, horror, and suspense films like Us, American Horror Stories, Bad Hair, Don’t Worry, Darling— 

KT: Oh, yeah. Ah, I can’t wait until that comes out either.

AW: I am pretty excited about that movie. I’m pretty stoked. I love Kiki Layne, so it’ll be really cool. 

KT: Yes! Woohoo!

AW: You were her stunt double, correct?

KT: Yes. Oh, yeah. She’s so cool. I may or may not be working with her in another project soon.

AW: Oh my gosh. That would be awesome. I met her once after a screening of If Beale Street Could Talk. That movie just— it should have gotten more acclaim than it did. She was phenomenal and was so sweet. I think it’s really great [that] you’re working with her. That’s awesome.

KT: Yeah! Very awesome.

AW: I’ll be on the lookout for your next film together. The stunts you’re doing [for Don’t Worry Darling], are those more fighting scenes or high falls?

KT: I did near miss with a car and a high fall.

AW: Oh wow. Okay, cool. Would you say that you’re a fan of those aforementioned genres? 

KT: My favorite genre, doing and watching, is comedy. That’s for sure. But love me some horror [and] sci-fi action. I love everything but I love laughing and I love making people laugh. That’s my favorite. It’s what comes easiest to me as well.

AW: What is something that you wish that you knew about the industry before you became a part of it?

KT: I wish that I just could dive into it with less fear.

I wish that I knew that it was gonna take a turn for the social media preferences. [Laughs] Once social media became prevalent, they’re wanting all these people who have lots of followers and influencers and stuff like that. [I’m] not a big poster, like “sharing private life” [type] person so, [I] just gotta get used to that and try to adapt.

AW: I completely get that because that doesn’t equate to talent at all — your number of followers. It is unfortunate that’s becoming more of a thing. But hopefully, those who really are serious about the art continue to look at the artists as opposed to what social media following they bring.

KT: Yes, exactly. 

AW: What do you do to keep yourself mentally strong and prepared for the next job or opportunity?

KT: I’m just always training. You’re just always finding classes, training with friends, trying to meet up whenever you can. Watching movies [and] watching performances also takes you very far. Watch that Netflix, go ahead ‘cuz those are the stuff [sic] that you’re gonna be performing for. Go ahead and watch those movies [and] those TV shows because that’s where you’re aspiring to be. Once you know how things work, the easier it is to prepare for it. 

AW: Who would you love to work with? Whether it’s a stunt performer or an actress, who is your dream collab?

KT: I would love to act with Issa Rae. I have stunt doubled for her once and I actually spoke that into existence as well, I remember meeting her a while ago and being like, “I’m gonna stunt double for you” and of course she doesn’t remember that but I did. I told her that and I was. It was just a cool moment working with her and hopefully, I get to act with her in the future. That would be amazing.

Issa Rae (L) and Keisha Tucker (R)
Issa Rae (L) and Keisha Tucker (R)
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

That’s another big prep for people, speaking things into existence. That’s a great preparation. People don’t know how important that is and how much it works. It’s just saying, “I’m gonna do this. I wanna be here. I see myself here.” Seeing the future, seeing yourself in a place where you wanna be, goes a long way. Manifest it. ‘Cause it works. I’ve said things, so many things, out loud over and over and they come true.

I’m just like, “What?! I was just talking about working in Hawaii and somebody just called me.” They’re like, “You wanna work in Hawaii?” I couldn’t do it cause I was already on a job but I was just talking about Hawaii and somebody called me for Hawaii. Just when you think [that] you’re not gonna work in Europe again, somebody calls you for Europe because you wanted it and that’s how it works.

AW: Is there any stand-up in the future for you? Action comedies, maybe? 

KT: I’ve actually tried stand-up before. I would try it again. [Laughs] I would personally rather do scripted comedy, but stand-up comedy is special and I would try it again. I would.

AW: Do you think you’ll ever see a stunt performer category at the Oscars? I know there’s the Taurus Awards, which you’ve won awards for as well. Congrats on that— 

KT: Thank you.

AW: Yeah. The Action Icon Awards as well who honors stuntwomen. 

KT: I hope so. It is deserved. The more I see actors stepping forward and talking about how it’s deserved, the more hope that I have that it might happen in the future. But I think it’s a little bit ridiculous that there isn’t at least some sort of category where it’s like, “Stunts in an Action Movie,” or recognition for the stunt coordinator or something. Not even the stunt performers but anything. Just a ‘lil somethin’, somethin’. [Laughs]

If you can afford to put all the drivers, makeup artists, costume artists, lighting, and the credits and give all of them awards too, then— Stunts is a big part of every show [and] movie. Even stuff that doesn’t have action, has stunts. It’s kind of ridiculous that it’s not more recognized.

AW: Do you have any advice for women, or young girls, looking to get into stunt performing? Specifically, Black women and young girls looking to get into it?

KT: Just believe that you can do it. Never give up. It’s all the cliché things that I’m gonna say, but it’s things that people need to hear over and over again but you need to believe that you can do it. If I listened to all the people that were like, “Oh, you wanna go to Hollywood and be a performer? Good luck living in a box.” If I listened to all that, then I wouldn’t be anywhere. You just have to know what you wanna do and go for it. And never give up because people put a timeline on things. I don’t know. I just think people need to quit listening to the naysayers and listen to their own minds, more than they know they should.

AW: What’s next for you? You have an Executive Producer role in Aurora, another independent film, coming out? 

KT: Oh, yes. I also executive produced another called, Oh, Halen. [Tucker is also producing and starring in the film which is expected to circulate film festivals soon.]

Just trying to work with people that believe in me and that I believe in. Trying to get content out there and trying to make people believe, and know, that I can get the job done as an actor. So Don’t Worry, Darling is not out yet but that’s soon to come out. Black panther two [Black Panther: Wakanda Forever] is coming out soon.

AW: Are you also in black panther two?

KT: I am. I was more involved on that one than the first one. So that was a blessing.

AW: Are you standing in for Okoye or another character? 

KT: I was just my own Dora this time. I did not double anybody. There was other girls that did that. This time I was just my own Dora. 

AW: That’s cool though. Just your own Dora.

KT: Keisha Dora!

Keisha Tucker on the set of Black Panther as a member of the Dora Milaje
Keisha Tucker on the set of Black Panther as a member of the Dora Milaje
Photo courtesy of Keisha Tucker

AW: Well, those women are badass, so there’s no complaints there at all. That’s awesome.

KT: Yeah. I have no complaints there at all. It was great, a great summer.

AW: All sounds very, very exciting. Looking forward to it. I’m so happy you took the time out to talk with me today. I know you’re busy and in an international place so we are really appreciative. Thank you from all of us at Off Colour.

KT: Of course. Thank you for wanting to interview me. Hopefully, I can talk to you guys more when I’m doing even more things and a bigger performer than I am right now. So thank you guys so much. 

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