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SALT

About The Stunts
With Angelina Jolie in the lead role, the filmmakers were limited only by their imaginations when it came to the action and stunt sequences in the film. "Angelina is very much into doing all the action herself,” says Simon Crane, who directed the second unit and coordinated the stunts. Crane had collaborated with Jolie on many films prior to Salt, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Mr.& Mrs. Smith. "She's really game for anything.”

"I think it's great when a movie star is willing to put themselves out there because it makes you stay in the moment even more as an audience member,” says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. "She's pretty fearless.”

"I love doing action movies,” explains the actress. "I've always loved to run and jump around and be physical.” 

Jolie felt particularly safe working with Crane not only because of their longstanding professional relationship but because Crane is simply one of the best in the business. "He started out as one of the great stuntmen,” says Noyce. "In Cliffhanger, there's an amazing midair transfer – that was Simon. The greatest, most exciting war sequence I've ever seen – the D-Day sequence in Saving Private Ryan – that was coordinated by Simon. The greatest fight sequence I've ever seen – in Braveheart – choreographed by Simon. The greatest swordfight, in Troy – Simon. The guy is a living legend. He's seen it all and done it all. He takes the audience by the seat of their pants and plunges them into the scene.”

Crane says he was gratified by the opportunity to re-team with Jolie. "She was always trying to find or come up with new ways of doing action,” he says.

In one major action sequence, Salt, cornered by her pursuers, makes a bold leap off a freeway overpass and lands on top of a moving truck on the highway below. Salt's pursuers follow her in an SUV, and arrange a roadblock, forcing Salt to take some dramatic evasive actions in the middle of a six-lane thoroughfare. 

Working from an animatronic storyboard designed over the previous months by Phillip Noyce, Crane and his team spent several weeks on the highways of Albany, New York, planning, rehearsing, and shooting this complex sequence. The Route 787 and Route 20 interchange next to downtown Albany matched DC's highways, and caused little traffic disruption when exit and entrance ramps had to be closed for filming. 

Crane, working closely with stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood and Jolie's stunt double Eunice Huthart, planned the shot. "That's really Angelina on top of the vehicles,” says Crane. 

"I trust them so much with their rigs and harnesses,” says Jolie. "Instead of feeling scared, it's like working with the circus for the day, and you get to play. They know me and they know what I can do, and what I'm not very good at.” Citing another sequence, in which the actress walks a ledge twelve stories up in her bare feet, she says, "I happen to like heights, so we've found these moments where I can use that.” 

Jolie also worked with Crane and his team to develop the fight style that her character would employ. "Because I'm a girl and I'm light on my feet, we naturally went to styles like Muay Thai, which is very long and beautiful,” Jolie says. Muay Thai employs the "Art of Eight Limbs,” in which not only fists are used to make strikes, but also elbows, shins, and knees. "But then we realized it wasn't as practical a fight if you have face-to-face combat, and it didn't look as aggressive,” says the actress. 

So Jolie and Crane and his team added Krav Maga, a more brutal form of fighting developed in Israel and used by the FBI and American special operations forces, to Salt's fighting technique. "She fights secret service guards in the film,” notes Crane. "You can't have her take those guys out too easily, or it would soften the whole film. S

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