Men’s Confidence Magazine is expanding, and part of that expansion gives me the power to sit
down with Hollywood’s hottest celebs and interview them for the magazine. When I was given the assignment, the first person that popped into my head is the extremely gorgeous Virginia Hankins. I first saw her at the Renaissance Faire, jousting and sword fighting men twice her size and kicking their butt in the process. To my extreme pleasure, she was willing to sit down with me. She is one of Hollywood’s hidden gems. She’s is the first female knight in the history of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, has played Joan of Arc on TV, and rumor has it she was the inspiration for Princess Merida from Pixar’s Brave. Sexy as hell AND down to earth, this girl is the entire package. She is an actress, model, stuntwoman, and… weapons expert? I had to find out more.
Men’s Confidence Magazine: Hi Virginia, thanks for stopping by! It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Virginia Hankins: Thanks for having me!
MCM: I first discovered you existed when I saw you riding at the Renaissance Faire. While jousting with the guys, what goes through your head as a lance is heading straight for you?
VH: I become hyper aware of my own precision, my horse, and my lance, my target area, making sure I’m in place… I actually don’t give any thought about their lance unless it’s threatening my horse by being off target. I’m always thinking about my own precision and my own aim.
MCM: Even though it’s not “real,” it’s still very dangerous isn’t it?
VH: Absolutely. Jousters all over the country go to the hospital regularly, as even day to day theatrical jousting is dangerous. I’ve been extremely fortunate that I’ve never been seriously injured while jousting, but the danger is always there.
MCM: Your resume says are a stuntwoman and weapons expert. Can you go into detail about your experiences?
VH: Sure. You won’t recognize me on screen, but I’ve been doing horse stunts and medieval stunts for about seven years, and about three years ago I branched into Hollywood and have been cast for television and commercials as a knight (you often can’t even tell I’m a girl because I’m fully armored). I also do a lot of motorcycle work in commercials, both solo and group stunts, hitting marks at the right time, at the right speed, etc… because I ride a motorcycle; I get called quite a bit for motorcycle project. Also, the most dangerous thing I do is work as a mermaid. It’s much more dangerous than people realize because the environment can be extremely hostile. For example, I was on a mermaid shoot in in an underground cave system. Half the time I was on breath hold… and the other half has breathing from a regulator 20 ft underwater, with weights holding us under, our legs essentially tied together, and mostly working blind. It’s kind of ironic that we are half blind, half paralyzed, weighted down, cold, , and trying to look sexy all at the same time. I would definitely say it’s the most challenging stunt work I do.
MCM: Holy cow. With all this exertion that you do, what kind of exercise program do you use to stay in shape?
VH: I am a firm believer i that any exercise I do needs to be fun, or I won’t do it, so a lot of my exercise comes from taking care of my horse, lifting hay, feeding buckets, etc… Twice a week I enjoy gymnastics and tumbling class, twice per week engaging in stage combat and fight choreography, coaching an archery class once per week, a high impact hip hop dance class once a week, and throwing other stuff in as it comes up. Lately I’ve been getting into circus acts for fun, hitting the silks and flying trapeze. I really enjoy that. There’s something extraordinarily liberating about being in flight.
MCM: You are stunningly gorgeous, and we wanted to know… were you always this beautiful and popular, or were you ever teased as a kid?
VH: Oh I was teased all the time! As a child I was very pale with bright red hair, so I was considered a freak. I wasn’t considered good looking until college. I went through so many years being “ugly” that I find being considered pretty now to be a bit ironic, but at the same time it keeps me humble because I know that make-up, hair, and presence are just skills that anyone can learn.
MCM: We saw a story that connects you to Princes Merida from Brave. Is that really you?
VH: I can’t actually say for sure that yes, I am the inspiration. What I can say is that yes, I have that dress, and yes, I have that hair, and yes, I do horse-mounted archery, and I had that look long before the movie came out, so I just let that background do the talking for me. It does seem like a LOT of coincidences though, right down to sharing the same half smile that she uses in the movie.
MCM: That DOES seem like too much coincidence. Switching gears, I wanted to know what is your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
VH: Sherlock on BBC. I really enjoy it.
MCM: Star Wars or Star Trek?
VH: Star Trek. In fact, Star Trek was the reason I went to school to get a dual degree in Engineering. I’m a big science geek, and I loved the diplomacy and culture of The Next Generation, and the fact that it was a very optimistic and promising view of the future. In fact, in the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie, please tell your readers to look closely… I can’t say anything more at this point, just look close…
MCM: Who is your favorite character?
VH: Dr. Beverly Crusher (Played by Gates McFadden). She is the Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise, and a redhead, so I identified with her. There aren’t a lot of redheaded role models, and I really connected with her character.
MCM: When it’s all said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
VH: I’d like to be remembered as someone who made an effort to make her dreams come true. I don’t want to let life sit on the back burner, so I chase down my dreams and make them reality.
MCM: So you have any projects on the burner? We’d love to hear about them.
VH: I’m currently working on two large scale masquerade balls. The first is Myth Masque where I am helping with creative development and will be a performer on stage. The second is The Labyrinth of Jareth in Los Angeles; I will be on the main stage as a performer there as well, in a very strong female performance. I also have two books coming out, as well as a network release of a TV show called Shoot to Thrill, which should be coming out this year.
MCM: OK, last question. If you had the choice, what actor (or actress) would you choose get naughty with?
VH: Wow… I’ve never thought about that really… What a great question… hmmm… I’d probably lean towards Orlando Bloom. I love his style and look… yes. Orlando Bloom.
MCM: Thanks so much for stopping by!
VH: My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
For more information about Virginia, or for casting and booking information, please visit her website at http://www.virginiahankins.com.