Liverpool Icons: How Scouser Eunice Huthart went from Gladiators champion to global stunt superstar
1 year ago
With a celebrity contact list that’s likely unmatched in Liverpool, Eunice Huthart’s remarkable journey has taken her from working in McDonald’s to working with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Here’s the story of how a sporty Scouser, and Liverpool Icon, became one of the world’s top stunt performers.
Born to Battle
Born in Liverpool in 1966, Eunice Huthart grew up in Childwall. Talented and tough, she dreamed of a fighting career from a young age. It’s something she had lots of practice in.
Speaking to Fit for Films, Eunice said:
“The amount of fights that I got into protecting my elder brother, who had learning difficulties. If anyone looked twice or gave my brother stick, I used to just run after them and fight them.”
Her mum had other ideas, though, and wanted her daughter to be a ballet dancer. Imagine! Athletics would eventually be a compromise they could agree on. It was a compromise that would pay off in some fashion.
Eunice starred in track and field events with Liverpool Harriers as a teenager. Specialising in javelin and heptathlon, she would become the county champion for her age group in both events.
Mischievous yet focused and disciplined, according to her coaches, a career in sport didn’t beckon immediately for the young Eunice. Before hitting the big time, she became a floor manager at McDonald’s. But her destiny wasn’t to be serving Big Macs.
It was in 1994 that her glittering career first showed signs of promise when she put her abilities to the test and tried out for Gladiators.
Her skill and determination made her the female winner of the ’94 UK series and a fan favourite. Check out her Eliminator battle against Kerryn Sampey. It’s as nail-biting to watch today as it was back then!
Eunice went on to represent the UK in the 1994 International Gladiators series and, true to form, won the title of female International Champion.
After the filming of Gladiators, Eunice, with her endless energy, became the European kickboxing champion and was ranked number 3 in the world. Although desperate to get her hands on a gold medal, she achieved a more than respectable silver in the World Championships.
In 1995 she became the first and only contestant to become a gladiator. Competing as Blaze, Eunice performed in the live shows in Sheffield, where she excelled at the Atlaspheres and Pursuit challenges. Safe to say, she preferred being the hunter to the hunted!
Her career as a Gladiator would be short-lived as she wanted to compete in the 1995 Ashes series. However, she was beaten in the final by earlier rival Kerryn Sampey. In typical Eunice fashion, though, she would regain her title in Battle of the Champions, also in 1995, defeating Australian Bernie Withers.
The victory would signal her retirement from the show, although she returned as a team coach in 1996.
After Gladiators, Eunice got her big break in Hollywood. Spotted by the Bond-franchise film Goldeneye producers, she became the stunt double for Famke Janssen.
From there, she never looked back.
The born and bred Scouser has co-starred with the biggest names in showbiz, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ralph Fiennes, Leonardo DiCaprio and Pierce Brosnan.
And with a film and TV resume that features the likes of Harry Potter, Titanic, The Fifth Element, V for Vendetta, 28 Days Later, The Avengers and Black Mirror, it’s safe to say that she’s absolutely smashed it across the pond.
So much so that Eunice counts none other than Angelina Jolie as a close friend. The pair initially struck a rapport working on Tomb Raider, leading Eunice to become the screen siren’s preferred stunt double.
Their friendship would bloom across several other films, including Mr & Smith, Salt and Wanted. Such is their bond that Eunice is godmother to Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Angelina’s eldest child with Brad Pitt.
Alas, it’s not all A-list fun and games in the world of stunt performers. It’s a dangerous game, and Eunice has suffered her fair share of injuries, including a fractured skull, fractured cheekbones, a broken foot, a broken coccyx and ribs. Ouch.
The perfect example of the danger involved can be seen in Eunice’s favourite stunt from The Beach, which we’ll leave you with as the lasting image of our Scouse superstar stunt double.
As her Gladiators theme music suggested, “Every little thing she does is magic.”