Bridgett “Babydoll” Riley is a stunt woman, boxer and trainer who appeared in Million Dollar Baby as a fighter; here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you want to be a stunt woman?
A: i didn’t intend to be one. all i wanted was a collection of world kickboxing titles….at that time.
i moved from missouri to los angeles with an intense passion to achieve my goals. while training one day, a talent scout approached me and had me audition for an acting role. i wound up acting on a tv show with a very small part but it did indeed open the door for me into stunts. it was the mighty “morphin power rangers” television series.
Q: What kind of training have you had?
A: i was a gymnast in my youth to teens. i then jumped into the martial arts earning my black belt. i loved karate tournaments and fell in love with sparring. i transferred into kickboxing which led me to boxing.
Q: What was your scariest job?
A: i get nervous all of the time, but that puts me on the edge and keeps me humbly alert which is where i prefer to be to sharpen me and show me…..that i am in fact still doing the right thing. performing on time for camera can be unnerving but – WHAT A RUSH.
having said that….
leaping off the roof of an SUV onto a moving car hood was tricky because of precise timing. depending on others in stunts is part of the deal, hence i’d have to say that THAT one had me on edge. it was dope.
i did a hairy stair fall down concrete stairs with sharp edges and it just looked like i had to have died…but we got it and i walked away without injury. i’ve gone through break away windows falling to another story underneath me while in a rumble with another stunt man …which is always tricky when involving multiply people in a scenario. descenders through break away roof tops while everything is on fire around me…. can get my heart pumping. so many tricky detailed fight scenes involving up to fourteen people keeps me RIGHT THERE due to the fact that i am an OCD perfectionist and want it perfect. i’m very hard on myself and demanding.
Q: What does a typical workout consist of for you?
A: my workouts vary. maintenance is key. so i prefer a typical boxer’s workout, if you want to talk typical and BOXING is home for me but i can do that in my sleep.
i am trying to stretch myself and get more evolved with what is current. trends come and go. but jujitsu ground fighting is hot now. i am sharpening up my muay thai training and i happen to be becoming addicted to it. i love to run. outdoors is the way to go. i am not a hamster on a treadmill…i’ve been brain washed into embracing that the ROAD is the ONLY way to go when it comes to “road work.” if a particular job comes up that requires a specific skill set…i’m on it. i’ve gone to a guy who gets you in CAR driving/trick shape and i loved that. that was for a precision driving car commercial. it is very different than STUNT driving. it’s a skill and i dig it. i went to go-cart tracks to work on my foot pedal control and it was a blast to boot. if i’m working weapons i may hire a weapon’s expert or just work hard in rehearsals….. if i -GOD willing- have great stunt guys to train with and run it on.
training varies and i like to mix it up. once in a while i will hit a hip hop dance class to work my brain out at remembering tricky choreography. i will go to a gymnastics gym and drill basics. you cannot EVER get enough basics. i had to get scuba certified for a movie in my past, the remake of the classic “poseidon adventure.” which steered me to catalina island, in california to get scuba certified. it was fun.
Q: What is your dream role?
A: a dream role. i do indeed want to act more and play a vulnerable female – the underdog….i always root for the underdog. something with an AMAZING story. story is what moves my heart. if my heart is not there, ALL the action in the world can take place and i don’t give a rats behind about it. so story is key. then if action happens to happen because of the story… then COOL. but doing action just for the safe of action is just silly to me.
Q: You are a professional fighter who appeared in Million Dollar Baby; how realistic was that film?
A: hmmm….well Hillary Swank is a pro and she was awesome to watch work. she works HARD. she is a strong female who knows what she wants. impressive to me. i also LOVE mr. Clint Eastwood. that was the most DOPE thing…to be directed by him.
now….realistic, well…you would NOT see a trainer UP on the boxing apron during a fight. i will just say…IT WAS A MOVIE.
Q: What is the most amazing stunt you have ever seen in a film?
A: too too many to list. soooo many. stunts IS one of the ACTORS. i think stunts and stunt people should get more due respect. without the action in MANY films…there would be NO film. i enjoy REALISTIC action. i am NOT into CG. it just takes me out of it. but i should have been alive in the 1920’s. i’m OLD school. i still in fact like to write things down. weird, huh. i’d even like my cell phone to JUST be a freaking phone, but that’s just me. i like raw done RIGHT. that to me takes more talent.
Q: What celebrity would you find intimidating to meet?
A: i already met and trained her…miss Angelina Jolie. i was soooo nervous. i think she is the cat’s meow. she is amazing and it was an honor and pleasure to work with her.
Q: What your weirdest Don King story?
A: i really do not have a weird one. he delivered on everything he promised. he paid well, in fact….BETTER than OTHER former fighter/promoters (whom should KNOW BETTER.) so my dealings with mr. King were positive. i mean he put me on HOLYFIELD/LEWIS 1 ….at MADiSON Sq. GARDEN….that was the COOLEST. 🙂
Q: What famous boxer’s style do you try to emulate?
A: back in his day, Julio Caesar Chavez was so special, WOW!!! Finito LOPEZ – picture perfect text book style. Tyson was a FORCE back in the day to, i dug his intensity and focus.
i like GREAT body punchers. i love when fighters put punches in bunches together so nicely to appropriately label it THE SWEET SCIENCE. it really is a sport like NON other. it’s a privilege to be a part of an amazing thing. i am truly BLESSED.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)