Ban­shee doesn’t hold back the fight­ing ac­tion

Ac­tion show Ban­shee planned every de­tail of their fight scenes.

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Ban­shee (2013-2016) fans can now en­joy all four sea­sons of this dy­na­mite, ac­tion- driven drama se­ries on in­ter­net stream­ing ser­vice ShowMax. And one of the best things about be­ing able to flip back and forth through­out the sea­sons is the op­por­tu­nity to re­play all the in­cred­i­ble stunt work in the show’s fight scenes – pos­si­bly some of the most re­al­is­tic, spec­tac­u­lar fight chore­og­ra­phy ever seen on a TV screen. Just take a closer look at two of Ban­shee’s most iconic fights…

TRAINED TO TRI­UMPH

The show’s stunt co-or­di­na­tors Marcus Young and Jimmy Ro­mano worked with a team of train­ers with com­bat spe­cial­i­ties across the board to pre­pare the cast and their stunt dou­bles for the scenes. “Marcus brought in Ryan Gray who taught me some Kali – a Philip­pine mar­tial art. All the stunt guys had a dif­fer­ent prac­tice but Kali was my favourite,” re­veals Ivana Mil­ice­vic (Car­rie on the show). “The sec­ond year, Marcus brought in an­other Kali master, Rich Cetrone. He dou­bles Ben Af­fleck as Bat­man.” The cast were also in con­stant con­di­tion­ing train­ing to make sure that they could han­dle shoot­ing each stunt over and over from dif­fer­ent an­gles. “They train you in mar­tial arts first and you get the ba­sics and then you get the chore­og­ra­phy. It’s in­tense. Don’t cross me,” jokes Ivana. “I feel strong. Like I could lift a car off a baby.”

CAR­RIE VER­SUS OLEK

Ivana’s tough­est ac­tion scene was the near episode-long fight scene in sea­son 1 episode 8. “I had a re­ally big fight scene with Olek (Chris­tos Vasilopou­los). I was at­tacked for 12 hours. I love that fight so much be­cause it had ma­jor emo­tion and his­tory and ten­sion and moves and love. I don’t think I had as deep of a fight since then.” Film­ing the scene took a whole day and “we were just gung-ho, four cam­eras placed at dif­fer­ent parts of the apart­ment. Thank­fully that whole room was padded for me be­cause the pro­duc­ers care for me very, very much”. While the scene was heav­ily chore­ographed, she still took a beat­ing and Ivana ad­mits that “I gave my­self a lit­tle black eye… And then I hit my an­kle on a cor­ner be­ing pushed around. The adren­a­line re­ally pumps you up be­cause your brain doesn’t know the dif­fer­ence if it’s hap­pen­ing for real or not.”

NOLA VER­SUS CLAY

In sea­son 3 episode 3, Nola (Odette Annable) and Clay (Matthew Rauch) have a fight to the death that starts, spec­tac­u­larly, with an axe been thrown at Bur­ton’s chest and it only gets more in­tense. “We used a tech­nique that in­volves hitch­ing to­gether a num­ber of shots to give it the ap­pear­ance of a sin­gle take. Marcus Young did phe­nom­e­nal work chore­ograph­ing this,” says Ban­shee ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Greg Yai­tanes. Odette and Matthew and their stunt dou­bles Boni Yani­ga­sawa and Dave Mac­comber trained for and re­hearsed the three-and-a-half minute scene for six weeks be­fore shoot­ing. “We had to shoot it in a day, 14 hours in ter­ri­bly hot weather,” says Matthew. “The cam­era crews were run­ning around the stunt guys. There was a ton of blood. There was one part of a take where Odette punched me in the face. It hurt! How­ever, af­ter that, the whole day went smooth. To a cer­tain ex­tent, the fights are real fight­ing. There’s con­tact and things you can’t fake!”

Nola gets the up­per­hand on Clay – briefly.

Olek and Car­rie’s fight tells a story.

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