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Stuntwoman is ‘Blooming’ brilliant in hit Netflix show

March 1st, 2021 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Clonakilty stuntwoman, Avril Murphy

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A HIT Netflix show filmed in Ireland and in the style of Harry Potter features a Clonakilty stuntwoman.

Avril Murphy is the person doing the action shots and wire work for Abigail Cowen, who stars as Bloom in Fate The Winx Saga.

Filmed in Wicklow, the saga is a teen fantasy drama about a group of wingless fairies attending Alfea, a prestigious magical boarding school.

There they learn to harness and master their powers, as well as dealing with the usual trials of being a teenager. It is a female-driven tale in the style of Harry Potter.

Adapted from the Italian children’s cartoon by Vampire Diaries writer Brian Young, the author has attempted to make this outlandish world more real by establishing The Winx Saga as a coming-of-age drama.

For a time, the show held the number one slot in the Top Ten in Ireland Today on Netflix, as viewers young and old followed Bloom’s development.

Avril Murphy has worked as a stunt performer for the past seven years. Before that, her career took many different paths.

For a time, she worked as a professional dancer – which shows in the skills and poise of her wire work – but she worked in sales and healthcare too.

Avril began her career in the movie business by doubling the main actress on Vikings, Katheryn Winnick.

She also worked on shows such as Penny Dreadful and Into the Badlands, in which she doubled Irish actress Sarah Bolger.

Avril played the role of Esme, and then doubled Oksana, in the Blake Lively movie The Rhythm Section, and she can list the TV series Nightflyers among her credits too.

As the video of Avril’s wire work show, the stuntwoman posses an unnatural grace, rhythm and balance.

‘It’s a spinning rig,’ Avril explained.

‘Usually it took most of the day doing movements such as back bends and flips.

‘It’s not the most comfortable, so you do need to be brought down regularly throughout the day as a breather for your body and your legs.

‘As a professional dancer, I was able to bring those skills into action. For example, I had to spin very fast, multiple times and I had to use all of my strength and core to keep my balance.

‘The arm work too needs to be fluid and graceful – sort of ethereal, but strong as well. They wanted power but grace and fluidity too,’ said Avril.

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