For many of us Resident Evil fans, the movies may have cost us some precious, wasted time.
For one stunt double, however, the price was much steeper.
Olivia was no stranger to danger
Hollywood stunt double Olivia Jackson signed onto the Resident Evil movie franchise for its final installment, The Final Chapter, doing stunts for Milla Jovovich. A stunt actor since 2009, Jackson knew her way around the block. She’d performed stunts in Mad Max: Fury Road, Dredd, and Safe.
One day in 2015, the production team changed the schedule abruptly, leaving Jackson unprepared and the stunt unsafe. However, Jackson had been led to believe that the insurance would cover any mishaps, as it usually does.
Stunt doubles get hurt, and she wasn’t afraid of that. She only wanted to be sure that she would be covered.
As rushed things usually do, everything went wrong. A camera that was supposed to move on queue wasn’t fast enough. The ensuing accident led to Jackson being put into a medical coma. Surgeons eventually had to amputate most of her left arm.
For a normal person, this is a major setback.
For a stunt double, this is the death of a career.
In a not-so-shocking twist of events, the insurance that Jackson was promised came to only $33,000. Not only does this fall extremely short of paying for her medical bills, but it also does nothing to mitigate the loss of her means of work.
The upcoming legal battle
As she should be, Olivia is now suing everyone involved, including our favorite director, Paul W.S. Anderson. This lawsuit will not only help Jackson get the compensation she rightfully deserves but also is bringing a heightened level of awareness to the unfortunate plight of stunt doubles.
“While Olivia’s injuries were entirely avoidable, stunt performers get hurt,” says Gabe Barenfeld, one of Olivia’s lawyers. “There needs to be adequate insurance in place to protect stunt performers’ financial security when they do get hurt. Insurance premiums are not where production companies should be cutting costs.”
Hopefully, we’ll know more soon, but for now, the best we can hope for is for Olivia to get what’s she’s owed.