Stunt Double Melanie Peyton-Smith swaps blockbusters for teaching acrobatics at Industry Dance
She’s been a stunt double in The Matrix movies and worked alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names – she taught Margot Robbie the incredible acrobatic skills she displays in the film, Suicide Squad – but ID’s Melanie Peyton-Smith says it’s a bigger thrill watching aerial and acro students thrive under her watchful eye.
“In my career I have followed a few different paths – worked in movies like Superman Returns and The Matrix 2 and 3, but now I have my beautiful daughter, Amelie, I stay closer to home – working nights trick riding horses at the Australian Outback Spectacular and days teaching at Industry,” she says.
And of all the heroes she has created film stunts for, none compare with Melanie’s own heroic battle with a brain tumour, just four years ago.
“I had a brain tumour cut out in 2013. It was located in the balance and coordination centre of my brain. I made a full recovery very quickly though,” she says.In fact, Melanie was performing again within five months and back in full force in 2016, training Margot Robbie for her power-packed role in Suicide Squad. Mel describes Margot as “really nice and down to earth”.
These days, Melanie loves that all her years of dancing, acting, riding and acrobatics are being utilized in two jobs she adores and that she gets to be home for her daughter and partner.
Melanie says she is inspired by anyone that knows what they want and works hard to achieve it - no matter what hurdles they may face.
“These are the people who are inspirational to me, “ she says,