Article from 2/24/18
Janeshia Adams-Ginyard is one of the many stunt doubles from the Black Panther film. In fact, Ginyard played as a member of the Dora Milaje warriors in the film and was the stunt double for Okoye. The Milaje warriors are an elite female team of guardians who are sworn to protect their king, The Black Panther, and their homeland Wakanda. Okoye, who’s played by Danai Gurira, was T’Challa’s general in the film and the leader of the Milaje warriors. The weapon of choice for these warriors was a spear so, to prepare for the role, Ginyard, Gurira, and the other women playing the Milaje warriors practiced with a bo staff eight hours a day.
A bo staff is basically a long cylinder stick with flat ends. It is also known as a jo staff as well. Together they did drills and different movements so they could look like a clear unit in the film. Ginyard talks about how the casino scene in the film was intense because Okoye not only used her spear but used her wig as a weapon as well.
Ginyard was an athlete who had experience in running track, wrestling, Taekwondo, and was a part of the US National Bobsled team in 2006. Ginyard had moved back home to California when she decided to become a stunt double after seeing a really bad stuntman running unrealistically in a film. With her experience running track she knew she could do better and wanted to try it out. Ginyard explains further in the video that as a stunt double you might want to have some experience in gymnastics or how to safely land so you don’t hurt yourself. She chose to do basic floor tumbling. This is where you mainly focus on groundwork such as front flips, back flips, back handsprings, cartwheeling, etc. Ginyard’s career paths lead her to stunt roles for American Horror Story, True Blood and Fear the Walking Dead.