[Watch]: Stuntwoman Amy Johnston Breakdown The Highway Scene in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Remember that action-packed highway sequence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? It’s one of the most complex highway chase sequences in cinema history next to the one in Matrix Reloaded. In the sequence, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) are ambushed by the Winter Soldier when they are thrown from their car as it is destroyed. It’s just the beginning on some of the best choreographed stunt work in a film, full of the some best stunt work in the MCU.

Now, stunt performer Amy Johnston (who doubled as Johansson) broke the stunt work down. The clip is from Corridor Crew, and their YouTube series, “Stuntmen React to Bad & Great Hollywood Stunts”. It shows that practical effects is still a big part of big budget filmmaking with most of the stunt where Black Widow, Falcon and Cap skid along a motorway was done for real with very little CG to augment it.  Check out the video below, and we’ll break down that key scene afterwards.

Skidding Along The Tarmac For Real

“There’s a lot going on [in this highway scene]. So we shot this in so many different shots,” sad Johnston. “First was a shot in front of a green screen with a car hanging. And we fell onto a mat on the side of the door.” Johnston was face replaced Johansson for the final scene, while Evans did this specific stunt himself.

For the next shot where the trio lands onto the tarmac, a truck pushed the door down the highway. The truck would build up momentum before releasing the door carrying the stuntmen so they could fly over a ramp (off-screen) to emulate that landing.

“That’s for real. That’s us sliding down the highway. We were hinged initially to the truck that was pushing us and then they would release us and then we were all by ourselves.”

Then for the Top Shot–the bird eye view of the car rolling in mid-air over the trio–Johnston explained that there was a car “rolling in front of us.” There was no separate take. The stuntmen are skidding down the highway with a heavy piece of metal rolling in front of them.

There’s Little Protection

Johnston explained what protective clothing was used. Ankles can easily become exposed as one might expect, so slight padding covered Johnston’s for the scene. More interesting is the fact that stuntwomen often wear less clothing in stunts because their acting counterparts generally wear more revealing attire. Black Widow’s full body costume, however, provided more protection for Johnston than normal.

So what can be more dangerous than skidding along a highway while riding a door?

When a stuntman is required to roll off the door itself at high speed, of course. Aaron Toney, who doubled as Falcon, had to tumble off the door with very little protective clothing. Falcon is wearing a sleeveless shirt, so all Tony had to work with were clear ice-skating pods  with a little bit of padding. So much happens so fast in this scene, that it’s easy to forget the awesome work stunt performers bring to these scenes.



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