Angela Meryl had already doubled for Beyonce when the singer appeared in the 2002 film Austin Powers in Goldmember, so when it came time for the pop star’s knock-down drag-out stair fight scene opposite Ali Larter the stuntwoman was an obvious choice. After meeting with director Steve Shill and landing the job, it was off to hair, makeup, and wardrobe, where the stunt expert learned it’s not exactly easy to walk (or, brawl) in Beyonce’s shoes.
“Everything’s the same: the jeans, the vest, I wore a wig modeled after her hair, even our necklaces and blood splatters. The only thing that was different were the boots, because Beyonce wears heels all day every day, and I don’t,” Meryl explained. “She’s used to doing full fledged concerts in stilettos and as a stunt person I’m used to running around and fighting in heels but not the way she is. So they actually made a pair of boots with wedges specifically for me because I was having a hard time fighting in these boots [Beyonce wore] because they were 5 inch heels and I was punching, dragging, and falling downstairs with [Ali Larter’s] double Heather Vendrell.”
“I’ve been in situations where I’ve had on a mini skirt or pants but the [clothes] were too tight to wear pads so I’m just falling down a flight of stairs and I couldn’t wear pads because you could see them,” Meryl said. Although, to stand in for the Bootylicious singer the stunt woman got a little help to break the fall: “I wore pads on my hips and pads on my rear end…and Spanx helped me make the pads more fitted and more tailored to the shape, to make my shape look [more curvy] like hers.”