28 minutes with Bond’s Baddest BabeWhen she’s not pulling stunts for Léa Seydoux in the new Bond film, Spectre, Gemita Samarra is running wild with her wolf Lupa in the English countryside.
Gemita Samarra’s voice is all sweetness. But the 22-year-old circus kid turned stuntwoman is tougher than you. When she’s not acting, modeling bikinis underwater or scaling high-rises as a stunt double for Bond girls like Léa Seydoux in the latest 007 film Spectre, she’s living the simple life out of her tent in the English countryside with her trusty wolf by her side.
THE RED BULLETIN: What’s your background?
GEMITA SAMARRA: My parents were in the circus in Spain so my childhood was pretty adventurous. My brother got into climbing and kayaking and I branched off into horses and synchronized swimming. I thought my career was going to be with horses. Then I joined a modeling agency when I was 16 and they got me my first underwater job; they needed someone who was strong underwater and could pose. That’s when I first heard about stunts. I’ve been doing stunts ever since.
My first few jobs were all underwater and then somebody thought it would be a good idea to have me perform on land, which got me into general stunt work like falls and fighting. I got into rally driving with Fast and the Furious 6 and Rush, and my biggest project has been Spectre, the new Bond film. I never had a strong background in gymnastics or martial arts like most people in stunts. I came from horses, so I bring a different element to it.
What’s the world of stunts like for a woman?
They don’t tend to discriminate and we are treated pretty equal. Men know we’ve trained pretty much the same and it will be more of a feminine stunt for us anyway. There are some guys that do stunts for women [wearing] tight skinny jeans and wigs, which is pretty funny.
How dangerous is your job?
On the whole it’s a lot better now than it was 20 years ago and the health and safety [standards] of it have gone up. It’s not as dangerous as some people think, but you’re definitely sometimes worried—if, for example, you’re dangling from a high bridge or there’s fire, anything can happen. There’s always risk.
You own a wolf. What’s that all about?
[Laughs] Yes, I do. A wolf called Lupa. I have to import her to the U.S.; she’s still in the U.K. My brother does a lot of polar expeditions and works with sled dogs so I’ve always been fascinated with them. She was the runt of the pack and was going to be destroyed so I was like, “Nope I’m going to have this one.” I hand-raised her from one week old. Before [working on] Bond she didn’t ever leave my side, so it’s been hard.
Looks like you can really keep up with the guys. Does that intimidate them or excite them?
It massively intimidates them. Not many girls do what I do. I’m not a girly girl. A lot of guys like to talk, but few actually do anything like this. It emasculates them that I can drive better than them.
What’s the worst pick up line you’ve ever heard?
All of them. Any pick up line. If it’s considered to be a pick up line, it’s going to be bad.
What’s the ideal man for you?
Honesty. No ego—ego is the biggest turnoff in the world. Also being really vain. If I have to go to an event I’m in and out of hair and makeup in 10 minutes. If a guy takes longer than that, that’s not a good thing.
What do you care about?
Animals. I’m getting into writing and producing and I’m working on an ethical series about shark finning and all the crazy things we do to animals—basically how we manage to ruin this planet.
Why do you do what you do?
I hate sleeping. I have to ruin myself during the day to be able to sleep at night. I train before work and after work to be able to sleep. If I don’t do anything during the day I get agitated. I also get frustrated being in the city, so I need to be outside and doing something active. I grew up on farms and I hate being inside. I lived in a tent in the U.K. in a forest about an hour and a half west of London. I just had to get an escape from working in a city. It was just me and the wolf in the middle of the forest. My neighbor was a paintballing place. I’d go to the gym to charge my phone and shower. I’d jump at the chance of living in a tent here, but I think it’s frowned upon to do that in Hollywood.