The practice is called wigging: stuntmen don wigs and women’s clothing to resemble female actors while filming risky action scenes.
Camera angles, special effects and editing preserve the illusion that it is a pulchritudinous star leaping off a building or driving through a window rather than a man in drag.
Audiences may not know or care but stuntwomen do because it means less work for them.
One is now mounting what is believed to be the first legal challenge to wigging. Deven MacNair, a Los Angeles-based stunt performer, is planning to sue a production company and Hollywood’s acting union over a male colleague performing a stunt in drag instead of giving the job to a stuntwoman.
“The practice is so common,” she told the Guardian on Wednesday. “It’s historical sexism – this is how it’s been done since the beginning of time.”
The answer is to insist that the act of donning a wig makes one a woman. For in this modern age there is no other definition is there, just the claim?