‘You have to believe in yourself 100 per cent.’
The best character she got to play was doubling Jaime Alexander as Sif in Thor. ‘She was a warrior goddess who wore full armour – she wore sensible fighting clothes. Most of the females I’m doubling are fighting unrealistically in high heels and small dresses!
‘People often comment that I don’t look like a fighter,’ Ky says. ‘I probably challenge some stereotypes, because people expect females who fight to be butch and aggressive in their personal lives as well as in their professional lives. I always think, What does a fighter look like? It has nothing to do with how tall I am, or my appearance, it’s what’s inside. It’s the fight that you have inside that you bring to the game that’s the most important thing.
‘I’ve had to fight hard to achieve my goals. I was never a winner growing up, I was never the one out in front. I believe you learn a lot from losing. You’re not who you are as a winner, you’re who you are when you lose. It makes you humble – you’re open to learning. It shapes who you are. I’ve learnt I have to practice, go back and try harder, and never ever give up.
‘You don’t die if you lose a race, a game, a competition or if you don’t get a job you want. It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day – it’s not life or death. There’s a graciousness in defeat, and it helps you take the ego out of things.
‘That said, when I won the Taurus Award, that was spine-tingling. I was thinking, These women are the best and I beat them all! But mostly it felt like a reward for the years of hard work it took to get to the top.’
Ky believes there’s something we can all learn from superheroes. ‘Stand tall like a superhero, and you can become one,’ she says. Even though she no longer carries a sword as a job, in her mind she continues to adopt the superhero’s stance as a way of accepting new challenges. She also has a tattoo: ‘I’m not afraid, I was born to do this’. She laughs. ‘People think I got that for stunts, but I got it for public speaking!’
Q & A
Is there a trick to being brave when you're about to tackle something really hard?
Whether I’m about to jump off a tall building, or do public speaking, whenever I need to be brave I follow the same routine. I examine what that little voice inside my head is saying to see if it’s relevant and then put it away in a box to deal with later. There is no room for fear or doubt when you are committing to something you need to do, especially in the stunt business! Just before they call ‘Action!’ I take a deep breath and say, ‘I can do this.’ Try it – it works.
How do you be brave when life throws something unexpected at you?
I find STOP LOOK LISTEN is a really useful technique, from my outdoor education days. It helps you stop panicking, or running off and getting into bigger trouble. It takes just a few seconds.
STOP: Take a second to assess your situation, to explore what your fear is and where it's coming from.
LOOK: Asses what’s really happening. Are you doubting yourself? Or are you actually in danger?
LISTEN: To the whole situation to get the big picture.
Pause, then decide how best to proceed. Going through this quick routine allows you move forward proactively rather than reactively.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
I would tell her that it’s OK to be different, to stand out from the crowd. Too often we try to hide the things that make us unique, yet these are often the things to embrace and polish and be proud of. It can be a harder path because sometimes it feels like you are going against the flow but in the long run it’s worth it: you can look inside and know you stayed true to who you are. Knowing this at a younger age would have made me more confident about who I was and how I presented myself to the world.