Dubbed "Queen of the Lightsabers," Michelle C. Smith has established herself as Hollywood's leading stuntwoman and actress. Renowned for her expertise on set, Michelle is the go-to professional for some of today's top actors. Her remarkable work in Grimes' music video "Player of Games" earned her recognition in VOGUE, while her exceptional skills caught the attention and praise of Daisy Ridley. Michelle's viral content on social media platforms and her YouTube channel has garnered nearly 3 million followers and over 100 million views. As an actress and stunt performer, Michelle possesses a rare ability to eliminate the need for intermediaries, saving productions valuable time and resources. She remains a staunch advocate for highlighting the stunt community's dangerous and awe-inspiring work.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became involved in the world of stunt performances and Hollywood?
Sure! My journey into the world of stunt performance and Hollywood began with my passion for The sport of Baton Twirling, which blended gymnastics, dance, and baton twirling. I then pursued a career in dance, focusing on jazz, ballet, and other styles. In the early 2000s, I had the opportunity to perform in Underground Circus, where I was introduced to the world of stunt performers and weapons. Growing up as a fan of movies like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and fantasy genres, I developed a strong interest in stunts and action sequences.
How did you land your first major feature film as a stunt double in Deadpool, particularly for the character Angel Dust?
The opportunity to work on Deadpool came unexpectedly through word of mouth. As a stunt performer, we typically don't have agents, so it's all about networking and recommendations. An American stunt coordinator contacted me via text and email, informing me about the chance to be a part of Deadpool. I received the message at 5:45 pm and had to meet the director at 7:00 pm the same day. Thankfully, my reputation was already established, which led to this exciting opportunity.
Could you tell us about your project involving Asajj Ventress from Star Wars and your intentions behind it?
The project with Asajj Ventress was a fun endeavor I put together with my producing team. I chose the character of Asajj Ventress from Star Wars and created a unique storyline and fight scene, making it my own. It was a way for me to showcase my acting and performance abilities to Lucasfilm, essentially a calling card. We had an incredible team of volunteers and received generous donations for the set and location. The character I portrayed in this project was the villain, and it was a fantastic experience.
You mentioned that Daisy Ridley watched your work and was impressed. Could you share more about that experience?
It was an incredible moment for me when Daisy Ridley, who played a prominent role in the Star Wars films, watched my work, and expressed her admiration. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I may have even shed a tear. It's truly gratifying when fellow professionals appreciate and recognize your talent.
Tell us about your role in teaching and providing tutorials for staff spinning and weapon-based martial arts.
I offer free tutorials and lessons in staff spinning through my online academy, with a focus on freestyle staff spinning. Many people are interested in learning weapon-based martial arts and combat techniques, and my tutorials cater to that demand. Additionally, during the pandemic, I conducted live-stream classes on YouTube for the #badassfamily fan group. I believe in the philosophy of "slow is smooth, and smooth is fast," where learners must first develop a slow and smooth technique before advancing further.
How do you plan to pursue your goal of being part of a Star Wars film and showcase your skills with a lightsaber?
To pursue my dream of being part of a Star Wars film and demonstrate my lightsaber skills, I intend to use professional channels to reach out to Star Wars staff and producers. By tagging them in my work and showcasing my abilities, I hope to capture their attention and open doors for potential opportunities. It's all about networking and creating connections in the industry.
Michelle Smith is a true #BadAss! You must go follow her, check out her videos, and learn more about this woman, if you don’t you will regret It because she is going to make it far in her craft!
If anyone from the Star Wars, cast, crew, or even Mister George Lucas himself ever sees this, we want to see Michelle in a Star Wars movie or series!