Do You Care If Actors Do Their Own Stunts?

I’m really excited to watch Mission Impossible: Fallout this weekend. I love most movies in the series, I’m entertained by Tom Cruise’s intensity, and the reviews are glowing.

But I’m not sure I care about actors doing their own stunts (“actors” used in the way that performers use it–gender neutral). Stress the “I’m not sure” part, as I’m undecided.

On one hand, it shows that the actor truly embraces the role, which often has a positive impact on the film. It also increases the likelihood of more long shots and fewer quick cuts, as fewer illusions are required from the director. Overall, it can result in a more immersive experience for the audience.

On the other hand, acting isn’t necessarily synonymous with stunts. Take Judi Dench, for example: Fantastic actress, but if a role calls for her to fall off a building, does it really need to be Judi Dench who performs the stunt? There are stunt doubles who specialize in this sort of thing. Plus, often the nature of stunts is that they involve action, which happens quickly–so quickly that you can barely tell who the person is unless the camera really lingers on their face.

That’s where I think I’ll make my conclusion: I like actors to perform their own stunts if the director is on board with using that footage to enhance the entertainment value through long shots that clearly show the actor in action. Otherwise I’d leave it to the experts.

I’m curious about your opinion. If you hear that an actor did their own stunts in a movie, does that impact your desire to see it or your impression of them as an actor?