Actor Amy Adams, whose series Sharp Objects premiered on HBO on July 8, 2018, told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview an anecdote from shooting the series that resonated with Stand-In Central.

Flanked by novelist Gillian Flynn and creator Marti Noxon, Adams explained in the interview:

[…] I had this amazing stand-in, Reb, who they also scarred up because [executive producer] Jean-Marc [Vallée] wanted to see it and she would stand there every day, too. She was fantastic, and she also put up with a lot ’cause she wasn’t getting the sort of catharsis from the performance and she wasn’t treated the same way I’m treated. And I’ve never experienced this before but, because we looked so much alike, at one point somebody grabbed me really hard and pulled me. I went, “What’s going on?” And they’re like “(Gasp) You’re not Reb!” I went into producer [mode] and I was like, “You will not handle her like that.”

Flynn added that Adams also said, “Is that what you do to Reb?” Adams then conceded, “I shouldn’t share that story but …” At this point, Noxon chimed in:

Well, it’s a true story. And [it happens] all the time. And she wouldn’t have said a word, by the way, and that’s the other part that’s [changing] through women being more a part of the engine.

Who’s Who?

“Reb,” the stand-in Adams mentioned, appears to refer to Rebecca Bujko. Rebecca is listed on the IMDb entry for the series as Amy Adams’s stunt double for eight episodes of the series. On her Actors Access page, Rebecca lists a stunt driver credit for the series but does not list being Adams’s stunt double.

Meanwhile, Debby Gerber is listed as Adams’s stand-in for four episodes of the series. They appear together in this photo from Instagram:

Red heads stick together 👯‍♀️ #itsasmallword @debbygerber

A post shared by Rebecca Bujko (@rebeccabujko) on

Diane Dehn is also listed as a stunt double for Adams on the series, though only for one episode.

Stand-In … or Stunt Double?

As Stand-In Central has pointed out in the past, there is a professional distinction between stand-ins and other jobs like photo doubles and stunt doubles. The media repeatedly get this wrong.

The main difference is that stand-ins do not appear on camera during takes. Doubles — no matter whether they are stunt, photo, body, hand, or some other kind — appear on camera. A stand-in is used to set up a shot, while a double is used to appear in the shot.

Also, in nearly all cases, stunt doubles are compensated much more highly than stand-ins when working under the SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement, the collective bargaining agreement that was likely in place for this production. Therefore, mistaking a stunt double for a stand-in would be to suggest that the stunt double is being compensated much less for her work on the production.

Furthermore, calling the stunt double “a stand-in” ignores the serious risk the double undertook in performing work on the production. More likely than not, a stand-in is not asked to do dangerous work, while doing safe but dangerous work is part of most stunt doubles’ jobs.


For this article, Stand-In Central has not contacted those working on the production for inside information. In the interview, it would seem that Adams confuses the work of Rebecca, the stunt double, and Debby, the stand-in. However, not knowing more insight into the production, it is hard to say if there was any confusion. Sometimes jobs on productions are not exclusive, so one worker may have performed multiple duties over the course of a production, or several workers may have shared jobs.

Often enough, stunt doubles are used to set up shots that would be too dangerous to set up with a stand-in. So, insofar as Rebecca was used to set up shots as well as appear on camera, there may be no intended conflation between Rebecca’s work and Debby’s work. It may have been innocent for Adams to refer to Rebecca as her stand-in because Rebecca may have served as both a stand-in for stunt shots and Adams’s stunt double in those same shots.

Of course, there is also the possibility of upgrades. It is possible that someone could be hired as a stand-in, and on some days work at a higher classification. On a number of productions, stand-ins will be upgraded to perform doubling duties. Oftentimes, stand-ins will receive a small upgrade to perform duties as a photo double, which usually only gives stand-ins a $10 adjustment to their base rate. But when stand-ins are upgraded to stunt doubles, the pay increase is dramatically more. The contract protections also expand.

On the days when the original stand-in is being hired as a stunt double, it would make sense to bring in another stand-in to take the original stand-in’s place for that day. That could explain why more than one person worked as a stand-in for a main actor on a television series. And more than one stunt performer can work as the stunt double for an actor over the course of a series, given differences in availability of stunt performers, their experience performing particular stunts, etc. This could explain why there were two stunt performers listened for Adams.

As for any stand-in work Rebecca did, it would be no surprise to only list “stunt double” in the credits and leave out “stand-in” because “stunt double” is generally the more professionally impressive credit.

That said, the IMDb is not always an accurate account of all workers on a production. It is possible that there could have been additional stand-ins for Adams on the production. And as suggested above, a credit is not always fully descriptive of the actual job duties of the worker on the production.

Mistreatment of Stand-Ins

Whether “Reb” was an actual stand-in for Adams or a stunt double for the actor, it is sad but not shocking to hear about mistreatment of stand-ins on a television production. While most stand-in jobs do not involve being “handled” in any way, some productions employ crew members who might grab or touch you to move you in a shot.

It is generally up to you to defend yourself and to draw lines about what kind of physical touching you permit in your work. As film and television professionals, directors, assistant directors, directors of photography, et al., should be able to give clear instructions to you in the case they need you to move or shift while setting up a shot. In the event that clear instructions are not as effective as physically moving you, those professionals should first a) ask for permission from you, and b) receive permission from you, before touching and moving you. These transactions need only to be a second or two, but they can mean the difference to a stand-in who does not want to be touched by another person on set. While this is not an industry standard by any means, as an advocate for stand-ins, Stand-In Central backs demanding permission to be touched rather than having crew members believe they can freely handle you.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and SAG-AFTRA Executive Director David White have received letters on the issue of stand-ins being physically handled by production members in their performance of their work. To date, Carteris has acknowledged receipt of the letter and the issue.

In the event you are the victim of unwanted handling on a production, contact SAG-AFTRA and/or speak to a field representative about the issue. You may also want to notify Carteris and White about the matter so that they know the issue is ongoing, and so that the issue is top of mind in theirs and the union’s pursuit against sexual harassment.

Final Thoughts

Rebecca sounded fortunate to have had an actor who also was a producer on the production feel strong enough to demand better treatment for her.

But as creator Noxon claims, Adams would not have said anything without having the double duty of producer on the production.

This is to say that an actor for whom you stand in may seem to have star power, but that star power may not translate to labor power.

When you are mishandled or mistreated as a stand-in, be aware that ultimately you may be the person who needs to do something about that mistreatment.

Have you been mishandled when standing in? How did you deal with the mistreatment? Did you work on Sharp Objects and have insight into use (or abuse) of stand-ins and stunt doubles? Share your insights in the comments below!