Photo credit: Cooper & O'Hara

PopHorror Interviews, Jodi Stecyk, Elite Stunt Coordinator and Performer

I love interviewing all different types of people in the industry and I was thrilled for the opportunity to chat with the elite stunt coordinator and performer Jodi Stecyk. As a top stunt performer with a career that spans two decades, Jodi has worked on blockbuster and critically acclaimed films such as The Revenant, Inception, Deadpool 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Godzilla. He’s flipped cars, driven motorcycles through glass windows, been on fire, and has been shot hundreds of times. As a coordinator, Jodi has helmed the stunt department and is responsible for leading a team of stunt performers and choreographing all the stunts for profile series such as The CW’s Riverdale, Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and much more. Jodi is currently creating all the action as the stunt coordinator on Netflix’s Snowpiercer.

Photo credit: Cooper & O’Hara

PopHorror – Hi Jodi, how is your 2022 going so far?

Jodi Stecyk – Hi, 2022 is going really great so far, after finishing a project just before Christmas of 2021 I had a couple months off before I started my current project Snowpiercer Season 4.

PopHorror – That’s awesome. You’ve been an elite stunt coordinator and performer for over two decades, how did you get involved with this career?

Jodi Stecyk – At a young age I was always into athletics, I played hockey starting at age 5 and started competitive springboard diving at the age of 10. When I was finished playing organized hockey at the age of 19 I decided to travel and perform in live stunt shows that included a diving and a high dive. This was kind of my stepping stone into my current career.

PopHorror – It’s such an awesome and rewarding career. You’ve done huge films such as The Revenant, Inception, Deadpool 2, Godzilla, and much more. What’s it like to work on such a big blockbuster film?

Jodi Stecyk – It’s always a big thrill to work on one of these types of shows, you’re generally working with the best in the business when you do so you get to see the art of film making at its best.  Revenant was particularly cool as it was the first time I had worked on a show that only used natural light for lighting and the process for shot making was unique as well.  We would rehearse a series of shots that would be stitched together to make one long opening shot that started the movie.

PopHorror – What type of preparation goes into being a stunt coordinator and working on big projects?

Jodi Stecyk – As a Stunt Coordinator my responsibilities are to break down the script and talk about the action sequences with the director. We break them down and figure out the needs of the stunt department and how things will be shot in a safe and timely matter. I communicate with most of the other departments to look after the safety of the actors or stunt people, from proper shoes from wardrobe, maybe a small pad under a wig to protect a performers head from the Hair Department, maybe strengthening a wall on set from construction.

PopHorror – Wow, that’s pretty neat. I never thought about all the work that goes into being a stunt coordinator. it’s not just not the big things, but the small details that matter too. Is there much of a difference between working on a TV series vs a film?

Jodi Stecyk – Actually yes there is, usually TV moves a little faster than film. With film you are working with one script that might have slight changes along the way where as TV you are always shooting one script and prepping the next episode at the same time so it can can get confusing as well. The amount of pages shot in a day on TV is also usually more than what you would shoot in a day on a feature. Although now a days some of your bigger TV productions can seem a lot like a feature because of the quality of TV.

PopHorror – Ahhh that makes sense! Have you ever been hurt while working on a project?

Jodi Stecyk – Knock on wood I have never been hurt while working other than some bumps and bruises, stitches and sore muscles.  I have broken a lot of bones though from training or playing organized sports.

Photo credit: Cooper & O'Hara
Photo credit: Cooper & O’Hara

PopHorror – Fingers crossed!!! Do you have a favorite film you’ve worked on thus far?

Jodi Stecyk – Funny enough my favourite film I have worked on so far is kind of one of those underground projects called Tucker and Dale vs Evil. It’s kind of a parody on horror shows and the fact that it is always college kids getting killed by the bad guy. It was really fun to work on because the cast and crew were excellent and there was always a slight comedic element to all the stunt gags we did. Comedies are my favourite shows to work on for sure, I feel there is a little more creativity and freedom to create fun stunts.

PopHorror – I love that movie. So funny and bloody! Any cool experiences or fond memories with some of the actors you’ve worked with?

Jodi Stecyk – I spent three years on Riverdale working with KJ Apa which was a lot of fun, he is a great person and he was easy to work with. He is very talented and always picked up his fight choreography really fast no matter how much I challenged him.

PopHorror – That’s awesome. Such a great show. Are there any films you’re working on right now?

Jodi Stecyk – I am currently working on Season 4 of Snowpiercer which has been a great experience. Once again the cast and crew are excellent and it makes it that much more enjoyable to go to work.

PopHorror – That’s great to hear. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into this career?

Jodi Stecyk – Hmmm that’s a good one, I would say work hard, train hard and do as much research into it as you can. Being a stunt person is not for everyone so you wanna make sure this is what you want to do. If this is your choice commit to it and focus on it, be well rounded. Nowadays most of the performers who come in are fighters, or gymnasts or trickers. That’s all fine to get your foot in the door but once you’re in start broadening your athletic resume and try some new sports if you haven’t already done so. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and try everything. I always say this to the young performers coming up, Jack of all trades master of none!

PopHorror – Thanks for the solid advice and giving some great insight into your career and what all it entails. I hope the rest of year goes by smoothly and I look forward to all your upcoming work!

Jodi Stecyk – Thank you for your time it was a pleasure!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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