When we think about big blockbuster films and movies, it’s not very often we see ourselves in the credits. As you recall from our article sharing the Caribbean’s representation within the Black Panther movie, we were keen to sit down with one of the actors and stunt performers who were on that set. A native of New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas, Jason Hanna spent his early years on the island attending Primary, Junior High and Secondary schools as well as College. Choosing to follow a career path that is not typically promoted by Caribbean parents and family members, Jason is beginning to reap the benefits of the seeds he sowed when he first decided to become a stunt performer. Learn what it has been like for Jason Hanna to move from the small screen to the big screen in this exclusive interview for the Karibbean Kollective
What sort of things were you doing as an actor and stuntman to begin to get noticed by movie executives?
The very nature of the business is network based. When I say I traveled the world to train, it was really also to network. Let me give you an example, there are several workshops in L.A. with some really big name actors and martial artists. What we call training is really a chance for you to show off what you can do. Aaron Tony is a big stunt guy who would host workshops at his place. We would go to his workshop and while everything he is teaching I may already know, I would still go out there show my respect and introduce myself. Ultimately, I would showcase what I can do with the goal that he [Aaron Tony] would notice my skill and recognize me at some point down the line as a talented and skilled stunt performer.
As a stunt performer, what is the number one thing you have learned?
To be a stunt performer you have to be a Jack of all Trades. The more that you know helps you so much more. For me, I love martial arts. That’s why I got into all of this. I love to perform, too. There is something called XMH Tricking. It’s a lot of high flying kicks, flips, and gymnastics that you would do. You would have a mixture of fight, flips and ‘Cirque de Soleil’ type moves. The more I got into stunt work, I realized that knowing martial arts as well other sports and activities, such as pool, helped me to stand out stunt coordinators. These coordinators checked my credentials but knowing that I had something else to offer allowed for them to expand their creative process based on what I knew.