THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – As Scarlet Witch, Elizabeth Olsen doesn’t have a mystical hammer or state-of-the-art suit. Instead, she flings bolts of energy at bad guys while bending and contorting like a Martha Graham dancer. But she still needs a stuntwoman for those tricky moments like when she gets thrown through a restaurant window.
“I love fighting, and I love wrecking through things,” says C.C. Ice, the stuntwoman who got the job. “So if you want to throw me through that door, that’s where I’m going.”
Growing up in a small town in Missouri, one of 13 kids, Ice, 38, was exposed to stunts at a very early age, mostly at the insistence of her five older brothers. “Somebody would have an idea like, ‘Hey let’s jump down the staircase using a trash bag as a parachute. C.C.’s the smallest, let’s have her try it!'” she recalls. By way of a gig as a magician’s assistant (where she learned about blades, fire and how to fall through trap doors without getting hurt), she made her way from Missouri to the East Coast and then to Los Angeles in 2007, just in time for the writers strike. She remembers: “I was like, ‘I’m here!’ and they were like, ‘We’re on strike!’”
Ice found steady pay as a production assistant while training for stunt work on the side. She received her SAG card as a stunt performer in 2011, and moved to Atlanta, following Hollywood productions that were migrating to Georgia to take advantage of film tax breaks. That’s where she ended up landing the gig doing utility stunts on Captain America: Civil War, after which she was paired with Olsen on Avengers: Infinity War, beginning with six months of stunt prep.
So far, the biggest challenge for both actress and double hasn’t been smashing through windows — it’s been pinning down the character’s strange, twisted action moves. Olsen remembers director Joss Whedon visually demonstrating. “He would show us his knees bending lots of weird ways and his fingers going crazy,” recalls the 29-year-old actress, who worked with choreographer Jennifer White on Scarlet’s moves in Age of Ultron. “We were having a really hard time finding people who understood the physical language,” says Olsen. “C.C. elevated us.”
Olsen and Ice’s work will next be seen in the upcoming Avengers film, and, with the plot being kept under lock and key, Scarlet Witch’s fate remains unknown. But, according to Olsen, Ice wil be able to handle it all. “The crazy thing to me about C.C. is she can do anything you ask her to do,” says the actress. “I’ve talked about [her] to so many people.” On a recent set, another actress was recommending her stuntwoman to Olsen. “I was just like, ‘Girl, you don’t even know my stunt person. Let me know if you need a stunt person!’”