We present an exclusive interview with the stunt and actress Atlin Mitchell, who played the role of the superheroine Crimson Fox in the NBC/DC Comics pilot of the comedy Powerless, starring Vanessa Hudgens.
Thank you for accepting the interview! Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
My name is Atlin Mitchell, I am born and raise on British Columbia’s West Coast. I grew up as a Gymnast on the Canadian National Team, then went to college in Chicago on an athletic scholarship, I worked in the Cirque Du Soleil as a Performer for 6 years, then came home to Vancouver to try to get into stunt work. I have been going stunts for 8 years now.
How did you get involved with Powerless?
The Stunt Coordinator, Brett Chan called me asking if there was any chance he could steal me for almost a week of work, for a new pilot that was being filmed here. I was working full time on Arrow, so I wasn’t sure how I would swing it, but the schedules aligned- thanks to the ADs who moved scheduling around in order for me to do both jobs; that doesn’t happen very often!!
They began building the costume weeks before we began filming, I must of had 6 or more fittings to make sure we got it as snug as possible, while having room to move around acrobatically.
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to play a female superhero?
At first, I wasn’t sure who she was, so I had to look her up. There was not a tonne of information on her, but my mind raced with possibilities for this character. It just made sense to me, how she would walk, and the attitude she would take on.
How was it to put on the Crimson Fox’s costume?
Watching the costume get built goes in stages. We had an amazing team of talented designers and leather workers, literally working around the clock to get it done. When the last stitches were put in, and 2 people helped to get it zipped up, it was very inspiring to see who it had all come together. And as tight as it was, it was built to move with me. Once you are in a costume like that, it almost takes your body over, the walk, the stance, the movements all happen without you thinking about it.
In the first episode, your character is, since the very beginning, involved in a battle with Jack O’ Lantern. Could you give us the details of how you shot the scene?
We spent 3 days rehearsing wire stunts on a green screen set, with interactive set deck. The stunts we were trying to perform were tricky, they had to be graceful and effortless. I was flipping 15 feet across, 12 feet in the air and landing/launching on 12 inch round light posts (3 in a row). Because of the team that we had, it actually didn’t take as long as we thought it would. Some gags are more complicated than you expect, but our Stunt Riggers put together a great rig, and everything just fell into place after that.
Is there a difference between how you shoot an action scene for a more serious show and how you shoot one for a comedy like Powerless?
I suppose that could make a difference. On this show, the chase scene wasn’t meant to be funny, so we built it the same as most stunt sequences. The humour came when Crimson Fox caught the train full of people. Crimson can leap and bound, and has incredible strength, but when face to face with citizens, she becomes just another person. I imagine that it would be quite a shock to be holding up a train full of people you just saved, only to realize they don’t see it as anything super. Crimson probably went home and had a stiff drink and contemplated her life decisions that night!
What are your future projects?
I am currently working on Supergirl. I am Co-Stunt Coordinating the show as well as wearing the cape as Supergirl Stunt Double. We finish up end of April, and then I’m gonna let life happen, and see where it takes me!