Falling face down from 10 meters and jumping on a galloping horse is no problem for her

Freefalling from 10 meters usually sounds like splashing from the third floor straight to the ground. For some people, however, such falls are a daily occurrence.

These are the professional stuntmen who often have to not just live on the edge, but sometimes go beyond it.

They are the ones who sometimes have to risk their health to make the action scenes look as realistic as possible without the actors having to put themselves in danger.

That’s exactly the kind of person Marina Yordanova is, who is a professional stuntwoman and has dubbed the likes of Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Daisy Ridley and Eva Green so far in her career.

How does it all begin?

Marina first touched stunts when she came to Sofia to study at the National Sports Academy.

“I left the sports gymnastics hall at the National Sports Academy. Arriving here from Veliko Tarnovo, I didn’t have any other acquaintances, except for gymnasts I know from the time when I competed,” she recalls.

That’s how she got into Emil Videv’s group for training stuntmen, without previously even suspecting that someone was doing such things in Bulgaria. At first it seems difficult for her, and for a long time her only motivation to do it is to create a new environment, new acquaintances and just to do sports.

She never imagined that stunts could become her profession until she gradually began to show a real interest.

Most dangerous and most difficult stunts?

The first thing that Marina thinks of is a jump from a 10-meter cliff. This happened in 2015 during the shooting of the film “Megan Leavey”, where Kate Mara played the main role of an American marine, and the Bulgarian voiced her.

The stunt itself is not something complicated in terms of execution, although for someone unfamiliar it sounds really dangerous – Marina just has to fall from a height of 10 meters on a fuse made of boxes.

“I was 23 at the time and it felt like a really scary thing,” she tells me. “The jump was for the end of a 12-hour day, when we were all tired and very sleepy. It was around 3 in the morning and we were in the middle of nowhere in some forest, and I had yet to jump off a cliff.”

She feels insecure all the time since it’s her first time doing something like this. He doubts whether he will even pull off the stunt until he hears the director counting down “3-2-1 Action”.

In the end, everything ends well. However, it was not always so.

Photo: Personal Archive

In the film “Megan Leavey” Yordanova dubbed the actress Kate Mara

A fall during practice for an acrobatic basketball show in France shorted knee ligaments, then required rehabilitation for about a year. On another occasion, she suffered a serious accident in India when a chariot drawn by two horses almost overturned on her while in motion.

In the same film, she has to do one of the most complicated stunts of her career so far – a stunt and a jump from several meters high on the back of a galloping horse.

“I had the support of a rope, but it was very complicated, because I had to synchronize my reinforcement and the moment of the jump with the running of the horse, so that I hit the saddle,” says Marina. “Every time I had to do it almost blindly, not knowing exactly where the horse was. It was very difficult and we had to do 24 takes before it worked.”

A still from the Indian film Photo: Personal Archive

A still from the Indian film Manikarnika

Recently, she has to participate in another scene that involves a serious jump. Last year, a film was shot in Bulgaria about the first woman to swim across the English Channel, and Daisy Ridley played the lead role.

In one scene, her character has to squeeze through a narrow window of a ship’s cabin and jump into the sea from a height of 11-12 meters. The difficult task falls to Marina, but the director’s requirement is that the fall should be as realistic and “unprofessional” as possible.

In other words, the stuntwoman must splash on her face in the water.

A movie or series he’s proud of?

For Marina, without a doubt, these are two series – the science fiction Halo, based on the game of the same name, and Wednesday, the Netflix hit about one of the heroines in “The Addams Family”. She really had fun while working on both of these shoots. The first project, although quite heavy, impressed her with its scale during the filming in Hungary in 2021.

Photo: Personal Archive

A few months later, he took part in the filming of the hit Wednesday. Although it only lasts three weeks, it turns out to be the most fun professional project she’s been a part of so far.

Actor or actress who impressed her the most?

Here again two names stand out. The first is the American actress Matilda Lutz, with whom Marina worked in the eponymous remake of the classic “Red Sonja” (its premiere is still to come).

“Very friendly, always smiling and willing to work. Really a very good person,” says Marina.

The other name is French star Eva Green, who, according to the stuntwoman, is an exceptional professional with an attitude towards others, no matter what part of the team they are.

A moment from Wednesday's shootPhoto: Personal Archive

A moment from Wednesday’s shoot

What does she feel best at?

Marina has experience in making and performing combat choreography, acrobatics, high jumps, as well as horse and rope work. However, she says that she feels most comfortable when she has to do fight scenes or acrobatic performances.

“The most specific thing about the choreography is the synchronization of the movements between the partners so that everything looks realistic,” she explains. “We have to be careful because we don’t really fight, but unwanted blows can often happen. Well, unless someone breaks a bottle over your head.”

Something that has also happened to her before.

A truly impressive performance for


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