Zoë E. Bell
November 17, 1978
|Occupation||Actress, stuntwoman, stunt coordinator|
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, she 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 during 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.
Bell was born on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, to Tish, a nurse, and Andrew Bell, a doctor. She has a younger brother named Jake and a foster brother named Leonhard, who is living in his old hometown in Germany. She grew up on Waiheke Island in Auckland.
At an early age, she 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, 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. She said she would do her own stunts in the film, and that the American accent was "a big challenge". The movie was named Gamer.
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.
She appeared alongside Wesley Snipes in the Italian director Giorgio Serafini's 2010 thriller, Game of Death. She can also be seen in the music video of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' 2012 single "Dream On".
Bell signed with CAA in August 2020.
|1995–1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||No||Yes|
|1998–2001||Xena: Warrior Princess||No||Yes||Xena||Main actress: Lucy Lawless|
|2000||Jack of All Trades|
|Cleopatra 2525||Yes||No||Female Betrayer|
|2002||The Bunker Murders|
|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||The Bride||Main actress: Uma Thurman|
|Catwoman||No||Yes||Patience Phillips/Catwoman||Main actress: Sharon Stone|
|2005||Alias||No||Yes||Kelly Peyton||Main actress: Amy Acker|
|2007||Grindhouse||Yes||Yes||Sicko Eating Paramedic #2||Segment: Planet Terror|
|Yes||Yes||Herself||Segment: Death Proof|
|Reflections||Yes||Yes||Woman in Mirror||stunt coordinator|
|2009||The Chronicles of Nerm||Yes||No||voice|
|Bitch Slap||Yes||Yes||Rawhide||Stunt coordinator; fight choreographer|
|Angel of Death||Yes||No||Eve|
|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|
|2012||The Baytown Outlaws||Yes||No||Rose|
|2013||Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters||Yes||No||Tall Witch|
|Iron Man 3||No||Yes|
|Hawaii Five-0||Yes||Yes||Dr. Shannon Morgan (Sugar Sticks)|
|2015||The Hateful Eight||Yes||No||Six-Horse Judy|
|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|
Awards and nominations
|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|
- "ZoÃ« Bell". IMDb. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- "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.
- "Double Dare: A Film by Amanda Micheli". Doubledarethemovie.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Kiwi stunt woman dares to be dangerous". NZ Herald. 25 June 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Films – Zoë Bell". BBC. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- A Conversation with Zoe Bell Archived 8 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Taurus World Stunt Awards". Worldstuntawards.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Zoe Bell: Death Proof Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Zoe Bell, Movie Star?". Justpressplay.net. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Tatiana Siegel (29 October 2007). "Jason Statham to reprise 'Crank' role". Variety. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Hustvedt, Marc (21 October 2008). "Behind the Scenes with Crackle's 'Angel of Death' Zoe Bell". Tubefilter News. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
- "Stuntwoman Zoe Bell Talks Whip It, Tarantino’s Genius Mind", Wired.com, 10 January 2009
- "Zoe Bell Talks Game of Death". Dreadcentral.com. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Jimmy Brown, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds 'Dream On' by Mike Bruce", Promo News, 20 February 2012
- "Zoe Bell, Stuntwoman and Actress, Signs with CAA (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
- Camino (2016) at Rotten Tomatoes
- McNary, Dave (13 February 2019). "Director Reclaims Rights to Documentary '21 Years: Quentin Tarantino' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
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