Spotlight: Maggie Macdonald

Maggie Macdonald

Today we are pleased to be Spotlighting Maggie Macdonald. Thank you for speaking with us today! Today what would you claim as your passion in this business?

Motion Capture Actress, Stuntwoman, and recently moving into the Coordinating side of production; both in the film and motion capture worlds.  

Please share what you are currently working on with our readers.

I recently wrapped Season 2 of The Tick as an assistant stunt coordinator and stunt double. I have also been filming Naughty Dog’s much awaited sequel The Last of Us 2 as the main character/player Ellie. That project all told will take almost 3 years to complete.

Do you have a signature or goal in mind when choosing projects? Would you say you have a specialty?

I am drawn to roles with physical and emotional battles. If I have the privilege of bringing a character to life through a physical victory; there is something supremely magical and fulfilling for me during that process. I specialize in many fighting styles; with a heavy concentration in sword and weapon work.

Do you mind speaking briefly to how you came into such a specific niche? 

I was a very competitive athlete growing up. I aborted a path to becoming a professional athlete and went to NYC when I was 18 to follow a calling to pursue stage acting. I can remember an insatiable need to connect with and move people; and acting gave me the literal and metaphorical stage to do that. Throughout my training and early career, I was naturally drawn to physical movement and the movement arts. When motion capture came into my world, I found a home in a giant sandbox that allowed me to play and use all my professional experience in one medium.

I am sure you encountered your own set of speed bumps along the way navigating through your different roles within the entertainment business to ultimately find where you bring the most value and find personal fulfillment. Can you speak to any challenges or obstacles that were of specific importance to you?

It is no secret that this business is beauty and image obsessed. Thank God, we are seeing a movement in perceptions of beauty and I am proud to be a part of the shift. More than ever we are celebrating every shaped body represented on our screens and every voice. As I began working and doubling actresses as a stuntwoman; my natural athletically shaped body did not mirror the traditional female action lead; which limited consistent work. Many times I was asked to lose weight, to quickly change my body in ways that were unhealthy, with no questions asked. There is not enough time or space to talk about what I have learned or overcome. I will share that as soon as I realized my identity is not defined by my body shape and my value to a production is so more than a number; I began to work more, ENJOY my work, and connect and empower other woman performers to do the same.

Here at TCP, we are also proud to be a part of championing diverse woman’s voices in filmmaking, which is why we choose to spotlight you this week. Can you speak more on seeing the landscape changing on what we have seen as more male dominated roles?

After shadowing several coordinators and learning on the job in the trenches;  I have learned working from female coordinators that–generally–we tend to be more inclusive, collaborative in our processes and less ego driven leadership. Having these new experiences excite me to think that the movie making process in general does have the ability to be more of a team sport rather than a one man show. Or at least, when choosing future projects, I want to surround myself with this likeminded attitude. When people are led by a leader that empowers people to use their gifts and TRUSTs them to complete their task with excellence—the process is smoother and the outcome surpasses what you possibly could have dreamed for. And speaking specifically with stunt work; it creates a safe space to bring up blind spots, concerns or questions that may have been silenced or looked over with a more fear based leadership.  I had not had many experiences with women coordinators, up until recently, and it has been such a moment of pride to see women in these roles and confidently say that it is possible for myself as well.

We are so excited to see this change happening as well. Is there any last bits of wisdom you may share with our readers? Perhaps to someone that hopes to endeavor in the same pursuits?

Speak up. Do not let fear (false evidence appearing real) to drive you to stay quiet or in the shadows. You have done the work, you have passion and talent, you Train hard…. you deserve to be there and have a worthy point of view! You never know how your voice could enhance the project, speak to someone that does not have a platform, or be the missing piece of the puzzle. HUMBLE CONFIDENCE BABY!!!!

Thank you for your time today! We look forward to see what is up next for you!



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