Jwaundace Candece: Still Stuntin'

Some would say that Jwaundace Candece is one in a million. You might

not recognize her face just yet, but you definitely won’t miss that body. Union

stuntwoman, professional wrestler and accomplished actor, Candece can fight ‘til

the finish and crash a moving car without batting an eyelash.


triple-threat performer has been in a few great flicks, both as a stunt double

for actresses like Queen Latifah (Scary

Movie 3, Bringing Down The House,

Taxi, Last Holiday) and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), and is building a resumé as an actress in her own



recently spoke with the strong-willed performer about her amazing - and safe to say “kick

ass” - career.


What’s your secret to staying to fit?


Candece: Meditation and Yoga - and don’t forget, discipline. I’m always been

sort of a daredevil, but I hated to go to the gym. What I really do is take

care of myself, keep my muscles warm and get my rest; that’s key.


What does a stunt woman do when she’s not doing stunts on a movie?


I get up most days and go to Yoga class. I love to do girlie things like get

pedicures and wear cute dresses. I do most things that are opposite from the

rough and rugged world of stunts.


I was just watching Quentin Tarantino’s Planet

Terror and I loved how the ladies, especially the brown skinned ladies, got

to kick some ass. Are there more scripts out there for like Planet Terror?


If you think it’s hard for Black actress in Hollywood to get work, it’s even

harder for Black stunt women in Hollywood trying to catch a break. Planet Terror was one in a million.


How did you start in front of the camera?


Funny enough, I went out for music videos. Everybody has to serve their time in

this business, everybody. No one is exempt from that; being an extra or not

making any money, shaking your butt.


So, you went from videos to wrestling. How did that happen?


Let’s be clear, I wasn’t a fan of wrestling. I thought it was fake, just like

everybody else. One of my cousins was really into it, and I started watching it

with him. I only considered wrestling because I needed the money. It was a

paycheck at first. I was a struggling actress.


Did you ever experience racism or sexism while wrestling?


Because I was a part of a woman’s tag team group, we didn’t have the sexism

issue. The Rock was huge back then, and his popularity with the crowd allowed

the Women of Wrestling to get some love. Because I’m a Black woman and my tag

team [Caged Heat] were two other Black women, we

stood out and that made the crowd love us even more.

AllHipHop.com: What was it that you loved about wrestling, other

than the good money, of course?

Jwaundace: Wrestling

really allowed me to exercise my athleticism. [Caged Heat] had a lot of fun

back then. My partners, Loca and Vendetta were my girls. I miss them.


AllHipHop.com: Then you

smoothly transitioned into doing stunts… Where did you find the time?

Jwaundace: I’d

gotten a call from my agent, who wanted me to talk to the stunt coordinator for

Queen Latifah’s movie Bringing Down the

House. I wasn’t thinking about the job, I was just thinking about meeting

Queen Latifah. I had no idea what stunt people did.

I was so ignorant. I was

thinking to myself, “If she did Set It

Off, why can’t she do a few stunts in this movie?” So to be honest, I went

out for the gig because of her. I’m a big fan of the Queen.

AllHipHop.com: So your

first gig as a stunt woman was for Queen Latifah? That’s huge.

Jwaundace: After

doing Bringing Down The House,

Latifah told me I was on board for her next movie. We ended up working on [Scary Movie] 3, Taxi and Last Holiday.

AllHipHop.com: Do you

have one great Latifah story after working with her on four projects now?

Jwaundace: There

are a lot of stories about working with Queen Latifah that I can’t tell. Let’s

just say that I’ve been honored to work with her. I’ve been out of the country

to places I would have never gone working with her.

AllHipHop.com: In

Hollywood, she’s considered a full-figured woman. Is that your niche, being a

stunt for full-figured actresses?

Jwaundace: You

know what, let me see, I’ve worked with Kym Whitley, with Jennifer Hudson and

with Mo’Nique twice. The last movie that I did with Mo’Nique was Push, directed by Lee Daniels. It’s

coming out this summer. I try to get jobs everywhere; staying fresh and hot. We

just finished a Volkswagon commercial.

The best thing about

going out for acting parts versus stunts is that they are hired by two

different people on the crew. The casting director hires actors, and the stunt

coordinator hires the stunt people. Plus, it helps that I have an agent for

both. I love doing commercials.

AllHipHop.com: If you

were to talk to Black girls who wanted to know about getting into this

business, what would you advise them to do?

Jwaundace: I’d say, stay

fit; develop your physical craft just like you develop any craft. I’d say,

practice your craft daily and put your work on camera. Send out tapes of your

stunts and your strength, and visit stuntsplayers.com to find all the best

stunt coordinators.

AllHipHop.com: Who was

your inspiration?

Jwaundace: Pam

Grier, mainly. After watching her in movies like Foxy Brown, Coffey and Sheba Baby, I thought she was so pretty

and sexy, yet knew how to kick butt. I think every little Black girl wants it

all - to be fly and strong at the same time.