Your Family (February 2008) featuring Lee-Anne Liebenberg

Lights, camera – action!

Whether it’s local or international, TV or the big screen, our movie business is thriving. We talk to some stars behind the scenes.

Lady Dare!

Lee-Anne Liebenberg’s CV states her weight, height, bust and waist size right down to the measurement of her outer leg. Where most women will dread revealing these stats, Lee-Anne relies on them to get her the job. Her achievements include car rolls and crashes, bullet hits, burns, falls and 105ft waterfall jumps.

Lee-Anne has been a professional stuntwoman for 17 years and a stunt coordinator for the past five. Her list of local and international movies and TV shows, run over three pages – in very small print.

It’s ironic when meeting this gorgeous mother of three to think that part of her job is to hide her face from the camera and to be invisible as she doubles the stunts for famous actresses – and actors!

“I got into stunts by accident,” she says. Lee-Anne needed money to represent South Africa overseas in kickboxing and appeared in some TV ads. One day, an agent on set noticed her strong resemblance to their movie’s leading actress. When she heard that Lee-Anne was a Springbok kickboxer, she asked her if she would kick a door in for a scene. Lee-Anne leapt at the chance, later meeting stunt coordinator, Roly Jansen, and regularly appearing on set as a professional stuntwoman. Her credits include Zulu on my Stoep, The Ghost and the Darkness, The Breed and many more ads, TV programmes and live shows. “I grew up with wild brothers and was always the guinea pig in ‘experiments’. My husband used to be scared that I’d get hurt, but after 12 years, he supports me. When my son, Marcell, was younger he used to ask ‘When are you going to stop?’ He’s concerned, whereas my little girl, Ozora is excited for me. She’s fearless herself and wants to be a stuntwoman too! My other daughter, Bianca wants to be a model.”

Although Lee-Anne’s ob seems and looks (literally) like a blast, it’s not always easy. “We do a lot of preparation work since our lives are at stake. A fall scene can take up to two hours to prep for: your weight and height has be to calculated to determine how many boxes they have to pack to break your fall. You don’t just get out there and jump, fall or get blown up, it’s careful thought and planning. The best part of this job is when you get it just right and you see the look on the director’s face! That’s what it’s all about!”

“I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking about retirement so I can concentrate more on acting.”

Her dream is not far off as Lee-Anne was cast in Doomsday, a Paramount Pictures film due for release in 2008. “It’s a Mad Max-type movie and I get to chop people’s heads off!” she laughs. “It took about 4 hours to get my makeup done for the movie as I have tattoos all over my face and body. It was a lot of fun!”

Posted in Your Family.