Carrie Bernans Discusses Her Time On The Set Of 'Avengers,' Her New Show 'Ultimate Tag,' And More

I had the opportunity to interview my friend Carrie Bernans, an award-winning actress and stunt woman. She is well known for Marvel's Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Avengers, as well as CBS series SEAL Team and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? What made you decide to get into acting and stunt work?

I’m Carrie Bernans. I was born in Hopewell, VA, right outside of the capital Richmond with the magical enthusiasm and talents where change became an early yet conquerable constant for me as a little girl. I grew up poor-of-goods and wealthy-of-mind with a single parent teenage mother and an early nomadic lifestyle from my birthplace to Panama, Central America, back to Richmond and to the townships along the Eastern U.S. Coast. My childhood experiences reflexively prepared me for extensive independent traveling abroad and the arts in Shanghai, China, Paris, France, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. I ran NCAA Division 1 Track and Cross Country at the University of Memphis, played softball for East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, and have been swimming since I was like two years old. Athleticism has run through my blood since birth. I was the kid who would jump out of trees, do tricks on roller blades, swim past the shorelines, and more. I played soccer for 10+ years, ran track for 15+ years, danced, and skated, and more. Some would call me a daredevil and others would say I’m insane. I knew from a very young age that I loved storytelling and acting from the many performances I would put on for my mom and sister along with church plays in school and onward… Little did I know, I would also be a stuntwoman. I learned about the stunt community four years ago from a SAG-AFTRA meeting where I then met legendary stunt performer Jane Austin, who helped me start training for my big career ahead.

What inspired you to become a stunt person?

Since I was a little girl, I was a fan of the 007 James Bond franchise. I would pretend I was James Bond and the Bond Girls, and do the super cool moves and change my voice. I was also a fan of everything Jackie Chan; he was like a real life hero, and I wanted to be a martial artist just like him. He taught me discipline and hard work, although I didn’t always use it until I got older… Oh, and, I love The Matrix, The Avengers, Demolition Man, Speed, Rush Hour, Boiling, Point, Charlie's Angels, Training Day, Bad Boys, Set It Off, and a million others that just fired up the drive in me to learn how to ride a motorcycle when I was 15, to start training martial arts, and more. I honestly thought it was the actors. I didn’t know it was stunt people who doubled them until moving to Los Angeles, and then I fell in love with the stunt world and was inspired to be the best I can be and educate little boys and girls that were like the younger version of me to become a stunt person if they wished.

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on in your career on screen?

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be a Dora Milaje in Marvel’s Black Panther and Avengers, Dark Phoenix, American Horror Story, Orville, The Ultimate Tag, CBS' SEAL Team, CBS' SWAT, Running Out Of Time, Marvel’s Luke Cage, HBO's Lovecraft Country, and more!

Can you tell us what it was like working on Black Panther and the final two Avengers movies?

It was a dream come true. It was a complete shift and transformation for my career. I had to shave my head bald for Black Panther, and coming from having 16+ inches of hair down my back to no hair, AKA being bald, meant a lot. I scarified my hair for that job. LOL But it was quite rewarding, as it was an actual working real dream. Being on the set with such phenomenal people like the directors, stunt coordinators, the amazingly talented actors, and other performers who literally painted my world when I watched all things Marvel and DC when I was younger was EVERYTHING to me! I was also a big comic book fan and only had my imagination to rely on, and my imagination has increased a hundred times now. LOL I’m honored to be apart of the legacy and in the Marvel family. <3

Do you have any fun stories from those sets you’re allowed to share with us?

Sometimes before we ran a take, we would bump some music like Kendrick Lamar and get each other hyped about what we are going into. There were also many moments that we would start different chants in our characters’ dialects and it was fun. We did a lot of cool stuff that I may not be able to fully share…

What are some of your favorite stunts you’ve done? What were some of the most challenging ones you’ve had to pull off?  

I’ve done a bit of everything from water stunts in the ocean and pool to fighting choreography with five on one fights to using weapons such as the bo staff, sword, and ropes. To choose one stunt as my favorite from everything I worked on would be like asking me to choose my favorite aunt and they are sitting all at the same table. LOL So I would say, my first ever stunt was doing a 30-40 ft fall from a roof after being pushed off backwards on wire… It was quite the stunt and will always live with me for years, as it was the one that set my standard to where I’m at and build from there. I love weapons, and although you can’t see all the choreography we did in Black Panther, I loved our choreographed fights for those scenes. Furthermore, although you can’t really tell when watching The I-Land on Netflix...I did a stunt, which was hiking with one arm on some very slippery coastal hill that had spikes in it. That was, by far, the only time I actually questioned a stunt after being there, but the team made me feel very safe. Thank goodness!

You’re on the cast for the new reality television show, Ultimate Tag. What was it like working on the show? Where can our readers go to watch it?

I love Ultimate Tag! I’m in 9/10 episodes. My character is the Banshee, which is a villain who lures people in to take their tag. I’m like an athletic demon on the show who’s scary, but everyone eventually loves my character. It was sooo much fun! I love my team and all the people who competed with us!

It’s on the FOX app anytime and also available on Hulu.

Are there any other upcoming projects, personal or otherwise, you’ve been cast in or are working on you’d like to tell us about or promote?

I have a lot of stuff coming up that I unfortunately can’t make public at this moment. I am producing and writing a webseries called Figuring It Out, starring Ana Marte and myself. I am voicing some cool characters for animation and video games that will be released soon. I also have more TV shows and movies coming out, and some I am about to film.

If you want to keep up with Carrie and all her exciting projects you can subscribe to her website and follow her on social media: