The fog clears, the music intensifies and Sadiqua Bynum gets to work. Wearing a black, hooded trench coat, she fires a single shot from a gun in her right hand before leaping onto the bed of a pickup truck, where an armed masked man awaits. When he tries to escape, she chases him into a bunkhouse, her gun drawn.
This is Bynum’s superhero moment, even though you can’t see her face as she cartwheels through the air and throws her nemesis to the ground. The gun is fake and the villain is an actor, but the action is real.
After a decorated gymnastics career at UCLA, Bynum, a three-time All-American, has jumped into the Hollywood stunt world and works as a double for Regina King in HBO’s “Watchmen.” The 26-year-old is one of the youngest and most successful black stuntwomen in an industry that is just beginning to experience the trickle-down effect of efforts to increase diversity in all of Hollywood.
Being a stuntwoman, she says, is the perfect job. “I’m constantly thinking that I have the ability … to bring a different element to film and bring the skills that I have and make them bigger.” . . .