Dee Bryant, Hollywood Stunt Driver

Hollywood Stunt Driver Dee Bryant Fights For Representation Of Women Drivers

Dee Bryant and Association of Women Drivers founder Olivia Summers want to train and recruit other women stunt drivers.

Dee Bryant, a seasoned stunt driver, is spearheading efforts to amplify the representation of women in the stunt-driving industry.

Partnering with founder Olivia Summers, she co-leads the Association of Women Drivers, Hollywood’s pioneering all-female stunt and performance driving team. According to the Los Angeles Times, the organization’s mission is to enhance visibility and career prospects for women in the male-dominated industry.

For Bryant, the organization wants to “create visibility for women and no longer give stunt coordinators, producers, ad agencies…the excuse to wig a male.” Avoiding the practices of “wigging” (casting men as body doubles for women) and “paint downs” (applying makeup to make white stunt performers appear non-white) is crucial.

Despite apologies from major studios like Warner Bros., who cast a white stunt woman to double for a Black actor in Gotham, but Bryant says acts like that still happen.

Fostering the next generation is key. “Yesterday, I drove two hours to help one of the girls that I’m mentoring buy a stunt car because I want these girls to look good on set,” Bryant said. “It’s a reflection on us if they don’t. Then the coordinator goes, ‘See, there’s no good women drivers.'”

Their mentorship efforts are bearing fruit, like with Georgia-based stunt driver Jwaundace Candece, who credits Bryant with giving her guidance on how to “ride for the cameras” and helping her network with other professionals.

Currently, Bryant and Summers are the association’s onnly members, but they want to recruit drivers skilled in cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and watercraft. Their vision has piqued Hollywood’s interest, with producers pitching a reality show about searching for top female stunt talent—requesting they pause recruitment while they develop the idea.

The need for Bryant’s and Summers’ advocacy is clear as only 22% of stunt union members identify as female. Stunt performers overall seek greater industry respect, recently disheartened by the new Oscars casting category, perceived as overlooking their demands for award recognition. Bryant calls the Oscars’ subsequent stunt tribute “a joke.”

With prolific resumes spanning hundreds of combined credits in TV and film, Bryant and Summers demonstrate their expertise to double for A-list actors. Bryant has taken on high-octane sequences for Angela Bassett, Regina King, Kerry Washington, and Gabrielle Union in the pilot episode of L.A.’s Finest.

The Association of Women Drivers highlighted Bryant’s climb in the industry, including her role as a stunt coordinator on a $30-million Nike commercial starring athletes Serena Williams, LeBron James, and Megan Rapinoe.