Athletes & Celebrities

Hers Girl: Natascha Hopkins

Find out how this Hollywood stuntwoman stays ready for action and on top of her game

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Hers Girl: Natascha Hopkins

Action-Packed Career

I’ve tumbled off of buildings, blasted through glass, been involved in car crashes, thrown down stairs, fallen out of cars, and even set my body on fire. I’ve doubled for high-profile actresses such as Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry ­Washington, Beyoncé Knowles, and Zoe Kravitz. But the most exhilarating feeling for me at this stage in my career is just being able to appreciate the preciseness of each stunt performed.

Lean and Limber

As a stuntwoman, I always have to be in great shape, but because most actresses are superthin, I also need to watch my weight. So I love lengthening exercises like Cardio Barre, Bar Method, and hot yoga as well as hiking. I do at least one intense training session a week, plus sprints up a hill, on a treadmill, or in the pool to vary my workouts. I also love flag football; it’s my favorite! And I always wear my Capo-Nata Apparel Lean Body Sports Bra, which I designed. It has a thick, high-performance fabric for ultimate support and a sweat-absorbing band for comfort.

On a Roll

When I was Jenny ­Kincaid on CSI: Miami, the script called for me to fall down a flight of stairs, and I was so excited to be able to perform my own stunt! The actor who played my father was holding me tight and saying, "But you are so small!" I dug deep and then "Action!"—I got pushed down the stairs. The adrenaline rush was insane! That was the beginning of my stunt career, and I knew this was what I wanted to do.

Visual Art

Staying cool under pressure is all mental. Being an ­athlete all my life has helped tremendously; we’re groomed not to show worry or pain. And honestly, I like it. If I’m going through glass, and I know the special effects ­department has prepared only two sheets, it means I have only two chances to get the shot. I think about what could go wrong once, then I let it go. I visualize myself performing the stunt and hitting my mark. I expect my body to do that 100%—nothing less.

 

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