British actor Ray Winstone is campaigning to increase the rights of injured stunt performers, calling them the "unsung heroes" of the film industry. The "Beowulf" star is raising money for the Eddie Kidd Foundation, which aims to help rehabilitate hurt body doubles and was named after the movie stand-in who was left with brain damage after a motorcycle crash in 1996.
Winstone admits he had forgotten about Kidd until he saw him in a wheelchair at a party recently - but he hopes to help other industry workers who need treatment and therapies. He tells Britain's HELLO! magazine, "With about 24 stunt performers injured every year, it's important to get the message out that, once injured, they are no longer able to earn a living from their chosen profession. They may not be able to earn a living at all."
"Do I think they should get more recognition outside the film industry? Yes, of course I do. We actors take the applause while the stunt performers just get on with their jobs. The only difference between them and guys like me is that they're on the physical side of it and I read poems! Stunt performers are unsung heroes, and Eddie is carrying the flag for them."