Egbert Gaye

Although it doesn’t happen regularly, it’s not unusual that a typical day at work for Sharlene Royer might include a concussion or a broken bone or two.
You see, a typical day at work for this Montealer could involve falling off a ledge 30 feet above the ground, ejecting from a speeding vehicle or engaging in lengthy periods of hand-to-hand combat or with weapons.
That’s what she does as a stunt-woman/actor or as a stand-in for big name stars such as Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, Vanessa Williams, Rosario Dawson, Ciara Renée, Paula Patton, Monica Arnold and even the irrepressible Pam Grier.
Glamour aside, Royer will be the first to tell you that it’s “tough work.”
“It’s like being a professional football player or a martial artist, you get banged up a bit,” she told the CONTACT in a telephone interview from Vancouver, where she is filming the latest version of the horror classic Chucky. “To succeed in this line of work you have to be as tough as nail and you have to learn quickly.”
The five-foot-seven, one hundred and twenty-five pound mother of two daughters is that and some.
She’s also indefatigable when it comes to upgrading her skills and mastering techniques such as stage combat, martial arts; stunt driving, horse back riding, high wire and cable work, harnesses and flying rigs.
“So much of this job depends on what you invest into it because there are no school nor training courses… it’s all up to you.”
Driven by that unwavering determination Royer has elevated to the top of her game, becoming one of the more sought-after stuntwomen in the industry.
In the recent past she has doubled for stars in DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, The World Of Warcraft, Star Trek Beyond, Beauty & the Beast, Extant, Brick Mansion, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Gothika among many others.
Along the way, exploiting her flawless capacity in French and English, together with her well-honed acting skills, she has also managed to cop a number of solid roles in films and movies such as Cartels, Filigree 13, Miss Méteo, Stuck, Gentlemen II, C.A, Septième, Round Maximum Conviction, Virginie, Les Bougons X-Files, Supernatural and Lance et Compte Next Generationl.
After 19 years at it, Royer continues to relish the path that she took when she was scouted by Hollywood’s legendary stunt coordinator, Alan Oliney, who while here in Montreal was impressed by her photo, acting aspirations and her athletic background.
“He simply asked: ‘you want to try stunt’ and as a young woman I was very excited by the possibilities, so I said ‘Yes’.”
Royer said Oliney became a mentor to her, and up to today continues to assist her in her training and in the subtleties of the business.
Following her breakthrough in the industry, she tried to make it happen here in Montreal but soon realized that it’s better that she moved to Vancouver and then to L.A, spring-boarding to jobs across Europe and around the world.
Now at the height of her career, she says she can better choose the people and the projects she wants to work on.
She recently completed work in L.A. with Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes and soon to be released, Dolemite Is My Name, which also features Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Chris Rock and T.I.
“It might be one of the most fun environments that I’ve been in since I’ve gotten into this business,” she remembers. “Everyday it was like being with family.”
She sees her longevity in the business as a blessing because it now allows her not only to choose her jobs but also to frame her future.
Royer says she’s planning to transition into working as a stunt coordinator and also to get behind the camera in the film industry to bring to life a few meaningful projects.
Also, she currently partners in a safety (steel toe) footwear company with former MMA champion, Georges St-Pierre.
Born to a Haitian mother and a French Canadian father, Royer studied theatre as well as classical and Jazz Ballet while growing up in Montreal.
She advises any young person entering the business to always be prepared because of the physical requirements of the job and “always be careful with those you choose to work with.”