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Stuntwoman Kimberly Murphy asks Cameron Diaz for help with memoir

There’s something about Cameron.

When stuntwoman to the stars Kimberly Shannon Murphy needed someone to stand in for her — to give her the emotional lift she needed, she turned to Cameron Diaz.

The Oceanside, LI native has enjoyed a 20-year career doubling for superstar actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Blake Lively and Diaz, for whom she stood in in 2008’s “What Happens in Vegas.”

“At that time in my life, I was 26 or something, still really struggling with a lot of my demons and she was just someone who was a pure light,” Murphy, 46, told The Post ahead of the May 16 release of her memoir “Glimmer: A Story of Survival, Hope, and Healing.”

“Just watching her gave me so much hope … someone to strive to be … because she was just this incredible human.”

She is among the pals Diaz invites to her house for what they call a “seven-hour salad,” where the actress dons a visor emblazoned with the word meat and barbecues.


Kimberly Shannon Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Murphy is close friends with Diaz, and even asked the actress to write her book’s foreward.
Instagram @kimberlyshannonmurphystunts

Murphy is so in awe of Diaz, that she asked her to pen the foreward to her book.

She even met her husband, famed stuntman Casey O’Neill, known to double for Tom Cruise, when she was doubling for Diaz on the 2010 action-comedy “Knight and Day.”

She has worked in over 130 TV shows and films, from “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Captain America” to “Hunger Games” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” for which she won a 2020 Taurus World Stunt Award for Best Fight.


Kimberly Shannon Murphy.
Stuntwoman Kimberly Shannon Murphy does not want her young daughter following in her footsteps.
HOLLYWOULD ART

The sequence, where she tackles Brad Pitt before he smashes her head into a wall, took a lot of prep.

“We did three months of rehearsals for that scene,” she said.

Her worst injury was on the set of the 2007 Will Smith thriller “I Am Legend.”

“I think I had like 80 stitches in my face,” she said. “It was . . . a high fall out a window. . . . You’re on a line, so it stops you 5 feet above the ground. But my descender didn’t work and I went straight to the ground.”


kimberly shannon murphy, tom cruise
Murphy worked on the the 2010 action-comedy “Knight and Day” starring Tom Cruise.
Instagram @kimberlyshannonmurphystunts

In the book, Murphy — who was then 5’9” and 125 pounds — also reveals her bouts with bulimia.

While describing her first movie set “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” where she doubled for Uma Thurman, she wrote, “I’m not eating much … Uma’s as thin as a reed, and I need to look like her.”

Besides hopping 6-foot fences and being tied to 30-foot ratchet cables, maintaining her weight was part of her job.

“You want to work, you stay skinny … it was something that was very just normal to me,” she said.

She also sheds light on the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her grandfather, and had to eliminate certain family members from the narrative because of it.

“I did not speak about my sisters … and that was because they are not supportive of me telling the story,” she explained.


Kimberly Shannon Murphy
The successful stuntwoman has worked in over 130 films and TV shows.
Instagram @kimberlyshannonmurphystunts

Murphy spent her early 20s living in a Bed-Stuy apartment with roommates — dancing at bar mitzvahs by day and taking ecstasy at Tribeca’s Club Shelter at night.

After a car accident, “doctors said I wouldn’t dance again,” she recalled, she had to leave The Ailey School, where she was a student.

She then auditioned for a Midtown strip club and did not get the gig.

“I was in dire straits financially and just emotionally not feeling good about myself,” she said. “I just didn’t really feel like I saw a future for myself at all so was just going to do anything to survive.”


The cover of "Glimmer."
Murphy’s new book is an account of her incredible journey.
Courtesy of Kimberly Shannon Murphy

The course of her career changed after she participated in a group photoshoot for FHM, the now defunct men’s magazine, in a thong.

“I remember being in the subway and seeing it on the stand and buying it,” she recalled. “I had my own page and I was the only one that did.”

Agents started to notice her, including George Aguilar, the most well-known stunt coordinator in the city.

In 2010 she moved to L.A., where she met O’Neill.

They have a 9-year-old daughter, who Murphy does not want following in her fearless footsteps.

“The stunt world for women is not something that I really want for my daughter. It’s not an easy job.”



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