Iconic scene with lighter

Stuntwoman Liebenberg Breaks Bones, Heart in South Africa

Lee-Anne Liebenberg is a South African-born stuntwoman and gorgeous ass-kicker. She doesn’t kick gorgeous asses. She’s gorgeous and can kick your ass. So, let’s restate that: She’s a gorgeous kicker of asses, and she can tell what it’s like to date a professional stunt woman like her – if you ask nicely. I discovered Liebenberg on a movie set in Cape Town, South Africa. The studio asked us not to reveal what film she was working on yet. (More on that later this year.) But, that won’t stop us from exploring the romantic potential of romantically-pursuing South Africa’s only female stunt coordinator, martial artist, model, actress and stunt driver.

“I’ve been a stuntwoman for about 15 years,” Liebenberg said during a shooting break on her latest film shoot. “I never aspired to be a stuntwoman, but – growing up with only brothers – it just came to me. Since I had a history in kickboxing, biking, karate, wrestling and rugby, I think I was born to do this.”

How should we envision a woman who hasn’t broken onto the American pop culture radar yet? I’ll set the scene. It’s a drizzly day on an outdoor film shoot in Cape Town. The crew and assembled press are wrapped in raincoats and hoodies. But, Liebenberg hits the set in a costume of hip-huggers and a halter top that’s barely up to the jobs it has to cover. She’s a powerfully-built woman in top shape, as her profession demands. She’s packing a core that can do more sit-ups than I’ve had hot dinners. But, she has hips and shoulders that can take the odd bump or two. In her profession, wispy princesses need not apply.

She’s a stand in today for the movie’s beautiful leading lady. But, after what they’re about to see, there won’t be a man on the set who wouldn’t knock the gentle thespian on her sculpted backside to get next to the tough, confident African lioness turned stunt double. The director yelled “Action!” – and a rain-soaked, high-speed chase commenced before the cameras across open terrain between an armored pick-up truck and a mini gun-packing muscle car. Liebenberg climbed out of the racing coupe and onto the roof. After liberating a machine gun from the car’s hood, she swung back around toward the truck in pursuit. Wrapping her thighs around the passenger seat (and making most men in attendance wish they were upholstery), Liebenberg commenced fire on the bad guys bringing up the rear. After a call of “Cut” – she reset and did it again. And again (for the rest of the afternoon). Most of the women in attendance were in awe as to how she kept her breasts in her cut-off top. Most of them were just grateful to witness the feat.

In fact, during the first break in the afternoon shoot, the male members of the press corps huddled up nearby and debated who would get to ask for her hand in marriage first. I won. She said no. I didn’t push it. I was afraid of security or a restraining order. The woman could plant her boot in my teeth. So, I settled for just asking what it would have been like if I had the pleasure of serving as her escort on a pleasant night of clearing thugs out of Cape Town nightclubs. She was surprisingly shy and soft-spoken for a woman who seems so invulnerable. But, there’s no lack of self-confidence in her hushed tones. She insisted the best way to get in good with a stuntwoman is by never trying to compete with one.

“The easiest thing about dating a stuntwoman is there’s never any need to argue about who’s got the biggest balls,” Liebenberg smiled. The statement further twisted the knife in my heart. Not only is the lady beautiful, athletic and tough, she has a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to throw four-letter words around. When it comes to woman, that’s the golden standard right there. The rarefied air.

“I do plenty of ‘girl things,’ too,” she insisted. “I go out on the town, go dancing, go to the beach, go shopping.” I assumed she shops for nunchucks, raw meat and grenades, but I couldn’t confirm that.

“I’m on sets steadily as a female stunt coordinator,” she added. “But, I have to work to find jobs as this is still considered a ‘manly man’s’ business. My company is Stunts 4 Reel here in Cape Town.”

When not on set, Liebenberg also teaches courses to aspiring stunt performers. But, sadly, she couldn’t teach the guys in the press corps how to manage the most painful stunt of all – leaving her behind in Cape Town.


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