‘Atomic Blonde’ Director Brings Stuntman Skills To His ‘Punk Rock Spy Thriller’ : NPR

Charlize Theron plays MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.

Jonathan Prime/Focus Features


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Jonathan Prime/Focus Features

Charlize Theron plays MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.

Jonathan Prime/Focus Features

In the new film Atomic Blonde, British agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) shows up in 1989 Berlin and gets a very violent reception. The film shows Lorraine punching, stabbing and shooting her way through the murky world of Cold War espionage — not exactly surprising considering Atomic Blonde was directed by former stuntman David Leitch.

Leitch did stunts for Fight Club, 300 and The Bourne Ultimatum, among many other films, before jumping into the director’s chair. He describes his new feature as “a punk rock spy thriller.”

Interview Highlights

On how he assesses an actor’s ability to do their own stunts

We start showing them sort of like choreography, fight moves, with the idea to see their aptitude and checking up their ability to match motion or to remember choreography. And then you start to build sequences based on their ability, and obviously there’s a training progression that goes along with that.

On Charlize Theron’s aptitude for stunts

She’s incredible. She’s off the charts — in the top 1…

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