Danielle Burgio is a name that has been making waves in the entertainment industry for years. With a career spanning from Broadway to Hollywood, she has showcased her versatility as an actress, stuntwoman, and filmmaker. While you may recognize her from some of your favorite films and TV shows, there’s a lot more to Danielle than meets the eye. Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about this multi-talented star.
1. Danielle is a New Yorker with Sicilian roots
Danielle originally grew up in New York before moving to North Carolina at the age of 11. Despite the move, she always identified as a New Yorker and returned to the city as soon as she could to pursue her dreams. Her rich family background includes Sicilian roots from her father’s side and Polish-Romanian heritage from her mother’s side. She often fondly mentions a town in Sicily called “Bordighera” where her ancestors hailed from.
2. Danielle started her career on the grand stages of Broadway.
Her first audition just two weeks after moving to New York City was for “Starlight Express,” an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. She landed the role, marking her debut on Broadway within her first year in the city.
3. Danielle’s journey into the world of stunts was somewhat accidental.
After moving to North Carolina, Danielle’s mother enrolled her in a dance class to help her make friends and integrate into the new community. This decision ignited Danielle’s passion for dance, which later became a significant part of her life and career. It was dance that initially introduced her to the entertainment industry. Her passion for dance played a pivotal role in her transition to stunts, with coordinators valuing her discipline and coordination.
4. Working with John Carpenter launched her career in the industry
One of Danielle’s significant early roles was in John Carpenter’s “Vampires.” This film was pivotal for her. In “Vampires,” Danielle performed a series of challenging stunts, including using an air ram, engaging in fight choreography, and working with squibs (explosive devices used to simulate gunshot wounds). This experience was particularly notable as she was relatively new to the stunt world at the time. After her successful stint in “Vampires,” Danielle’s reputation in the stunt world grew rapidly. She received numerous recommendations from her colleagues, leading to a steady stream of work.
5. Danielle has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows
Danielle’s transition to Hollywood saw her become one of the industry’s most sought-after stuntwomen. Notably, she was the stunt double for Carrie Ann Moss’s iconic ‘Trinity’ character in the “Matrix” sequels. She has also worked on “Daredevil”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Blade”, “Angel”, “Birds of Prey”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Monster-in-Law”, “Will & Grace”, and other TV shows and movies.
6. She’s a published author
Beyond her on-screen roles, Danielle penned a book titled “The Stuntwoman’s Workout” which hit the shelves in May of 2005. In the book she shares the exclusive fitness program that allows her to meet any challenge on the big screen and in real life. She also co-hosted TBS’ “Worst Case Scenario” as ‘Gear Girl,’ showcasing her daredevil stunts, from plane-jumping to skyscraper-dangling.
7. Danielle has written, directed and produced two short films
Danielle’s love for storytelling led her to try her hand at filmmaking. She wrote, directed, and produced two short films, “Lucy Falls” and “Girl Trip.” Both films reflect her passion for character-driven stories and her desire to challenge herself in different genres. They have been screened at festivals across the US.
8. Among her many talents, she is also a podcast host
Danielle is the host of the “Women Kick Ass” podcast, produced by Hammond Chamberlain. Through this platform, she interviews the most kick ass women in Hollywood and discusses topics related to women in the entertainment industry, shedding light on their achievements and challenges.
9. Danielle portrayed the character Judy in Season One of The Walking Dead Webisodes.
She got this role due to her past collaborations with makeup effects master, Greg Nicotero, who was making his directorial debut with the series. One of Danielle’s first collaborations with Greg Nicotero was for “John Carpenter’s Vampires.” She was already familiar with the tone and style of The Walking Dead, having watched Season 1 before joining the Webisodes. She expressed a keen interest in working for the main series or its spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead.”
10. Danielle shares her personal philosophy on facing rejection
An old coach once told Danielle to have the “skin of a rhinoceros but the heart of a baby” to succeed in the entertainment business. This advice resonated with her, emphasizing the need for resilience while maintaining a sensitive and passionate heart. She highlights the challenges of working in the entertainment industry, emphasizing the frequent rejections artists face. She advises aspiring artists to develop a thick skin, stay persistent, and focus on their craft. She believes that while there will be many setbacks, the moments of success are incredibly fulfilling and make the journey worthwhile.