Zoë Bell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Zoe Bell)
Zoë Bell
Bell in 2019
Zoë E. Bell

(1978-11-17) November 17, 1978 (age 45)
Occupation(s)Actress, stuntwoman, stunt coordinator
Years active1992–present

Zoë E. Bell (born November 17, 1978) is a New Zealand stuntwoman and actress. Some of her most notable stunt-work includes doubling for Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess and for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.

As an actress, Bell has appeared on television and in feature-films; she has starred in the web series Angel of Death. She is probably most recognized for playing herself in the Quentin Tarantino film Death Proof. In 2015, she appeared in an acting role in Tarantino's film The Hateful Eight, and in 2019 appeared in an acting role in Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in addition to her role as stunt coordinator and stuntwoman.

She was Cate Blanchett's stunt double in the 2017 release Thor: Ragnarok.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, to Tish, a nurse, and Andrew Bell, a doctor.[2] She has a younger brother named Jake and a foster brother named Leonhard, who is living in his old hometown in Germany.[3] She grew up on Waiheke Island in Auckland.

At an early age, Bell participated in competitive gymnastics and at 15 began studying taekwon-do. She also participated in dance, high diving, scuba, and track and field activities. Bell attended Auckland Girls' Grammar School and Selwyn College.


Bell began her career in 1992 when her father treated a stuntman for a head injury and came home with a phone number for her to call. Her first stunt job was jumping out of a car in Shortland Street, a New Zealand soap opera.

She performed stunts for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, both of which were filmed in New Zealand; by the fourth season of Xena, she was the stunt double for Lucy Lawless. She fractured vertebrae in her back doing wire work stunts on the show, but continued working for a week until another stunt, in which a breakaway chair was smashed on her back, incapacitated her.

After Xena, she performed in small films and on TV, including stunt co-ordinating and playing a small role in a short film, Reflections, with Adrienne Wilkinson (with whom she had previously worked on Xena). She went on to double for Uma Thurman in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.

Though she was initially hired as Thurman's "crash and smash" double,[4] the stunt team realized Bell would also make an ideal double for fight-scenes and she was trained accordingly. Bell had to learn to fight in the wushu style.[5] Near the end of filming for Kill Bill: Volume 2, she injured her ribs and the ligaments in her wrist while simulating being thrown backwards by a shotgun blast. Bell required surgery and spent several months recuperating.[6] After production finished on Kill Bill, she received "The Bells" sign which hung outside the home of the Vernita Green character. She later gave it to her parents. After both Kill Bill movies, she did stunt work for the movie Catwoman, in which she performed high falls and acted as a double for Sharon Stone.

In 2004, the documentary Double Dare was released. It focused primarily on Bell and veteran stuntwoman Jeannie Epper, following them during their travels in Hollywood. The film presented a view of opposing ends of the stuntwoman spectrum, with the aging Epper continuing her search for work in an industry where age is not necessarily considered an asset and Bell, then a Hollywood newcomer, trying to break into the industry. The filming of Double Dare covered Bell's career from the end of Xena to the beginning of her work on Kill Bill: Volume 1.

In 2004, Bell and Angela Meryl (Vivica A. Fox's stunt double) were nominated at the Taurus World Stunt Awards in the categories "Best Overall Stunt by a Woman" and "Best Fight" for their doubling of the knife fight between the characters Beatrix Kiddo and Vernita Green in Kill Bill: Volume 1.[7] In 2005, Bell was nominated for a Taurus in the categories "Best Overall Stunt by a Woman", "Best Fight" and "Best High Work". She and Monica Staggs (Daryl Hannah's double) won Best Overall Stunt and Best Fight for their fight in Budd's trailer in Kill Bill: Volume 2. Her Best High Work nomination was for a fall of over 200 feet in the film Catwoman.

After Catwoman, Bell performed stunts in the action thriller The Kingdom and another Tarantino film, Inglourious Basterds.

Tarantino cast her in a leading role in his next film, Death Proof (2007), in which she played herself and performed her own stunts, the most notable of which occurred when she clung to the hood of a speeding 1970 Dodge Challenger.[8]

In August 2007, Bell said she had signed to play the lead role in a film about an American soldier who, upon returning to the U.S. from a tour of duty in Iraq, helps a young girl in trouble.[9] She said she would do her own stunts in the film, and that the American accent was "a big challenge".

Bell appeared in episode seven of the fourth season of Lost, playing the role of the freighter team's radio contact, Regina. She said that the role required a little acting and some stunt work.

In 2008, Bell starred alongside her former Xena colleague Lucy Lawless in Sony (Crackle)'s web series Angel of Death which debuted online in early 2009.[10]

Bell also played a medical technician who moonlights as "Bloody Holly", a roller derby star, in Drew Barrymore's 2009 directorial debut, Whip It.[11]

She appeared alongside Wesley Snipes in the Italian director Giorgio Serafini's 2010 thriller, Game of Death.[12] She can also be seen in the music video of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' 2012 single "Dream On".[13]

Bell signed with CAA in August 2020.[14]


Year Title Actress Stunts Role Notes
1992–2005 Shortland Street No Yes
1995–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys No Yes
1998 The Chosen No Yes
Young Hercules
1998–2001 Xena: Warrior Princess No Yes Xena Main actress: Lucy Lawless
1999 Jacksons Wharf
Amazon High No Yes
2000 Jack of All Trades
Cleopatra 2525 Yes No Female Betrayer
2002 The Bunker Murders
2003 Riverworld No Yes
The Extreme Team (a.k.a. The X-Team) No Yes
Kill Bill: Volume 1 No Yes The Bride Main actress: Uma Thurman
2004 Kill Bill: Volume 2 No Yes
Catwoman No Yes Patience Phillips / Catwoman Main actress: Sharon Stone
Double Dare Yes No Herself
2005 Alias No Yes Kelly Peyton Main actress: Amy Acker
2006 Devil's Den No Yes
Poseidon No Yes
Penny Dreadful No Yes
2007 Grindhouse Yes Yes Sicko Eating Paramedic #2 Segment: Planet Terror
Yes Yes Herself Segment: Death Proof
The Kingdom No Yes
2008 Lost Yes Yes Regina 4 episodes
Reflections Yes Yes Woman in Mirror stunt coordinator
2009 The Chronicles of Nerm Yes No voice
The Collector No Yes
Bitch Slap Yes Yes Rawhide Stunt coordinator; fight choreographer
Angel of Death Yes No Eve
Gamer Yes No Sandra
Whip It Yes No Bloody Holly
Inglourious Basterds No Yes Shosanna Main actress: Mélanie Laurent
No Yes Bridget von Hammersmark Main actress: Diane Kruger
The Proposal No Yes Margaret Main actress: Sandra Bullock
The Final Destination No Yes
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Yes No Melissa / Diane / Linda Schuler / Alice Hostetler Video game voice-over
Game of Death Yes No Floria
2011 Gossip Girl Yes No Herself
2012 The Baytown Outlaws Yes No Rose
Django Unchained Yes No Tracker
2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Yes No Tall Witch
Oblivion Yes No Kara
Iron Man 3 No Yes
Raze Yes No Sabrina
Hawaii Five-0 Yes Yes Dr. Shannon Morgan (Sugar Sticks)
2014 Mercenaries Yes No Cassandra Clay
2015 The Hateful Eight Yes No Six-Horse Judy
2016 Camino[15] Yes No Avery Taggert
Paradox Yes Yes Gale
Freshwater Yes Yes Brenda Grey
2017 Thor: Ragnarok No Yes Hela Main actress: Cate Blanchett
2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Yes Yes Janet Lloyd Stunt Coordinator
QT8: The First Eight Yes No Herself Documentary[16]
2021 Malignant Yes Scorpion

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Film Award Result
2009 Maverick Movie Awards Reflections Best Stunts Won
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards The Kingdom Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture Nominated
2008 World Stunt Awards Grindhouse Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman Won
2008 World Stunt Awards Grindhouse Best Work With a Vehicle Nominated
2005 World Stunt Awards Kill Bill: Volume 2 Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman Won
2005 World Stunt Awards Kill Bill: Volume 2 Best Fight Won
2005 Women in Film and Television New Zealand Awards Achievement in Film Won
2005 World Stunt Awards Catwoman Best High Work Nominated
2004 World Stunt Awards Kill Bill: Volume 1 Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman Nominated
2004 World Stunt Awards Kill Bill: Volume 1 Best Fight Nominated


  1. ^ "Zoë Bell". IMDb. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Article: Zoe Bell is on fire: with Grindhouse opening this month, the butt-kicking... | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Double Dare: A Film by Amanda Micheli". Doubledarethemovie.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Kiwi stunt woman dares to be dangerous". NZ Herald. 25 June 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Films – Zoë Bell". BBC. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  6. ^ A Conversation with Zoe Bell Archived 8 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Taurus World Stunt Awards". Worldstuntawards.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  8. ^ Zoe Bell: Death Proof Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Zoe Bell, Movie Star?". Justpressplay.net. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  10. ^ Hustvedt, Marc (21 October 2008). "Behind the Scenes with Crackle's 'Angel of Death' Zoe Bell". Tubefilter News. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Stuntwoman Zoe Bell Talks Whip It, Tarantino’s Genius Mind", Wired.com, 10 January 2009
  12. ^ "Zoe Bell Talks Game of Death". Dreadcentral.com. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  13. ^ Jimmy Brown, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds 'Dream On' by Mike Bruce", Promo News, 20 February 2012
  14. ^ "Zoe Bell, Stuntwoman and Actress, Signs with CAA (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  15. ^ Camino (2016) at Rotten Tomatoes Edit this at Wikidata
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (13 February 2019). "Director Reclaims Rights to Documentary '21 Years: Quentin Tarantino' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 14 January 2020.

External links[edit]