Girl power hit a new peak this week when the Marvel Enterprise named Natalie Portman as their next Thor. The Norse Thunder God in exile in America has historically been portrayed as male except there is a plot twist in the comic book series’ storyline that is being made into film with a female Thor wielding the divine hammer, Mjolnir.
Female heroes in the world of film are always a treat to watch but behind their amazing action sequences are the real superheroes who risk their lives performing the stunts that make magic happen on screen. These are the real world goddesses of Bollywood’s reel world you should know about.
1) Reshma Pathan
Fondly known as ‘Sholay Girl’ for performing all of Hema Malini’s horse-cart stunts in the film Sholay Reshma has, in her career of three decades, worked as a body double for nearly all leading female actors of her time including Meenakshi Sheshadri, Dimple Kapadia, and Sri Devi. She has taken all sorts of hard knocks in fight sequences and accident scenes but she is still standing strong. You can learn a bit more about her hair-raising life behind the scenes in the Zee5 Original film Sholay Girl, in which the role of Reshma Pathan is played by Bidita Bag.
2) Geeta Tandon
Jumping off a building for our entertainment is not the bravest thing she has done. Geeta Tandon escaped an abusive marriage and took up the job of a stuntwoman for films so she could singlehandedly raise her two children. She has stood in for Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Parineeti Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Neha Dhupia, Divya Dutta, Malaika Arora, and more. As she crashes through glass and drives cars through hoops of fire, Geeta believes “There’s gain in pain” (Source: South China Morning Post). You might remember her as a contestant from Khatron Ke Khiladi 5.
3) Sanober Pardiwala
When Aishwarya Rai reached the edge of the cliff, it was Sanober Pardiwala who actually jumped off it. A stunt artist since she was 12 years old, Sanober has doubled for Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha, and Preity Zinta to name a few. She has fought with swords, martial arts, and guns. She has dived into the sea, ridden bikes and in the film Bang Bang performed her most challenging work involving lots of breaking glass and tumbling through forests. But you have probably also seen her as herself, battling the odds, as a contestant on the reality TV show Survivor India.
4) Asma Shaikh
If the female actor in question is on the taller side, Asma Shaikh is the go-to girl for the stunts involved. She has stood in for Shweta Tiwari, Aseem Kaur, Aishwarya Rai, and Sonam Kapoor. In the film Ranjhanaa, she broke her leg in a scene that required her to jump into a river from her pillion seat on a two-wheeler. But that was not the only injury she has ever sustained of course. She has jumped off of all sorts of scary places like horsebacks, bikes, bridges, and tall buildings, but we hope her career remains on the rise.