Amanda Holden discusses how she overcame her fears in the second episode of ITV1’s Fantasy Lives (Tuesday, Feb 2, ITV1), when she trained to be a stuntwoman in LA.
Why did you pick such a dangerous task?
“Genuinely everything I picked are things I’d love to do. The show’s topics are really interesting and hopefully people will find it funny and enjoyable to watch. And I suppose some people might really like to see me catch fire and having a fight!”
Which has been your favourite out of the three challenges?
“My favourite one of all three was the stuntwoman one. Ever since I started out doing acting and drama for telly it’s always frustrated me that I had to have a stunt double. I know my stunt double and she’s absolutely fantastic, but I’ve always been secretly been jealous of her and thought, ‘why can’t they get the insurance for me to do this’. So when I had the chance to learn to do it, I took it!”
What did the Hollywood stuntwomen teach you?
“I got to re-enact a fight scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, got thrown off a 30-foot roof, did a high-speed police chase and also a fire sequence, which was dangerous but very exciting.”
Does this mean you’re not afraid of heights?
“I actually do have a fear of heights and I was really terrified about the fire sequence, but I really caught the adrenaline bug.”
Do you think you’ll do your own stunts in future now?
“I would love to, but I don’t know if they’ll let me because it might be an insurance problem.”
Did you get any injuries?
“When I did the fight scene I had to jump from a height and land just on the edge of the crash mat and then fall and roll. I got a massive bruise on my arm and broke my nail, which I wasn’t happy about!”
Did you learn any insider secrets?
“It was a fabulous opportunity. I met stuntwomen I wouldn’t normally get to meet, and they named and shamed all the actresses who claimed to have done their own stunts, but didn’t!”
Did you have a favourite stunt?
“My favourite bit of the stunt challenge was the driving I did with Debbie Evans who performed the motorbike stunts for The Matrix. It was so exciting doing high-speed, handbrake turns and crashing into boxes and bins. I sent a text to Simon Cowell showing me doing wheel spins in the car and in his reply he said it wasn’t feminine!”