Samantha Jo, who recently played the Amazonian warrior Euboea in DC’s smash hit “Wonder Woman”, has certainly come a long way from her earlier days as a stunt woman.
Her latest role, as Diana Prince’s close friend, is actually her second character in the DC Extended Universe — she earlier played the Kryptonian warrior Car-Vex in 2013’s “Man of Steel”. This November, the Chinese Canadian stunner will be reprising her Amazonian role in the upcoming highly anticipated “Justice League” film.
In an interview with NBC News, Jo revealed how she immediately felt the vibe of female empowerment in “Wonder Woman” from the moment she auditioned for the role.
The 26-year-old actress shared that she was asked to read lines from another film featuring strong male warriors. The audition had all the women reading the dialogue that was originally written for men.
“I thought it was really clever,” Jo told NBC News. “Because it doesn’t really matter in that film whether it was a man or a woman — it’s the strength behind the words.”
Jo, who grew up with older brothers and spent years working with male stunt workers, claims that helped her feel more at home with the “Wonder Woman” production.
“You just have those special moments with other women,” she explained.
“The training really was tough, so to have people that you trust and care about you and are emotional just like you are really made the journey so much more worth it.”
As for playing the warrior Euboea, she noted that it felt like playing an “amplified version of her childhood self.”
“I was wearing the armor, I had the weapon in my hand, and I felt almost more like myself than in the everyday world.”
In the film, Amazonian women were shown to be tough warriors who are honed through training and discipline. This made the role almost tailor-made for Jo, who began practicing martial arts at a young age.
A disciple of jiu-jitsu, and later wushu, Jo has represented Canada in different international martial arts competitions. Her affinity towards martial arts would eventually lead her into doing stunt work. As a stunt performer, her credits include “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, “Sucker Punch” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”, among others.
As an actress, Jo shared that she is mindful of choosing roles that play on certain stereotypes as she has found herself being cast in similar roles over the years.
“It’s hard because I am Asian and I did grow up doing martial arts,” Jo said. “On one hand, I want to be able to use that skill, because I have trained my whole life and it would seem wasteful not to use it. On the other hand, I don’t only want to do martial arts just because I’m Asian.”
She also revealed that she is also looking forward to playing more varied roles in movies other than just action flicks.
“Since I’ve been diving more into my acting work and my classes, there’s just a wide variety and whole world of characters I want to explore,” she said.