While never critical darlings, the Resident Evil film series ran for an impressive six outings, spanning 14 years. Milla Jovovich led every single one of them, kicking both normal and undead ass along the way. However, action stars don’t do all that work on their own, they rely heavily on stunt doubles for complicated shots that require danger, and sometimes that danger comes to fruition.
As you may have heard, stuntwoman Olivia Jackson is now suing producers after they stopped providing medical support for her, post-accident. In 2015, in the middle of the shoot for the last film in the series, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Jackson was preparing for a fight scene. Moments before, though, she was told they would be switching to a dangerous motorcycle stunt instead. A camera impeded her motion after missing its cue, resulting in a serious accident in which Jackson lost her arm. She had to be put into a medically-induced coma while doctors performed emergency surgery to save her life.
Even worse, the producers on the film had misled the stuntwoman about their insurance, as it turned out to be subpar compared to what would actually be required to come back from injuries like these. Medical expenses were – and I wish I was kidding – close to $1 million for Jackson and the production company only gave her $33,000, with another $990 in lost wages.
Olivia admits to feeling abandoned by all involved and basically being stuck on her own after the incident, saying:
“They admitted they had very limited insurance, but they promised they would take care of me and make sure I came back to health. When they stopped paying for the medical bills, I think I was just really hurt and really scared because I was stuck. I was really hurt and really scared because now I was stuck on my own.”
The most unfortunate thing about all of this? She was a back-up. Jackson was actually scheduled to be a stuntwoman on Wonder Woman instead of the final Resident Evil picture but was replacing a different stuntwoman who was, ugh, also injured on set.
All of this maiming for such a mediocre franchise. Stunt workers are integral parts to the escapism films can provide and we really need to make sure they’re taken care of. Or, at the very least, remembered.
Source: USA Today