FILMMAKER & PRODUCER
Over the past 30 years, Chris Leps has had a unique adventure in the entertainment industry. His diverse career started at the Walt Disney Company in 1989, but his zeal for cinema was sparked by the movies of his youth.
An original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles performer at the Disney Studios, Chris Leps went on to appear in a number of live shows, including Marvel’s X-Men Adventures, Disney’s Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and the Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show at Universal Studios.
His passion for film, combined with his athletic background, led to stunt performances in 180 television episodes and over 40 feature films, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Alias, CSI, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Walking Dead, the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, and most recently, the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian.
As a stuntman, Chris Leps has doubled for many of the top names in Hollywood, such as Casper Van Dien, Kiefer Sutherland, Jeremy Piven, Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Justin Bartha, Matt Damon, and Johnny Depp.
A member of SAG-AFTRA, Chris is a Screen Actors Guild Award nominee and winner, in recognition of his performances in both television and film.
As a filmmaker and storyteller, Chris has written, produced, directed, and edited a variety of projects ranging from short form content, to marketing and promotional materials, to documentary and feature narratives.
When did you start and what was the trigger for you to become a stuntman and filmmaker?
I fell in love with movies very early on. Growing up I saw a lot of the Disney films and they had a big impact on me. The storytelling spark was ignited back then, but I didn’t truly think it would become a reality, especially since I grew up in Central Florida and never knew I would one day make the move to Los Angeles. As I got older, I realized I could actually pursue filmmaking as a career, but I also knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. I had a martial arts and gymnastics background growing up, so it was a natural progression after high school to get involved with the various live stunt shows at the Orlando theme parks. Those experiences led to stunt work in the TV and Film industry, which has facilitated my filmmaking endeavors in many ways over the decades. Ultimately, I’m a storyteller at heart, and filmmaking has always been my first passion.
What has been your best experience so far?
Working on Pirates of the Caribbean 4 was the best stunt job of my career. It spanned nine months in 2010 and we worked in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and London… really great locations with really great people. But I’ve also had a number of other incredible experiences along my journey, such as working with Steven Spielberg, traveling to other countries for filming, and working with many iconic actors whose work I admire.
What does storytelling mean to you?
Because cinema is such a big part of my life and career, I always gravitate toward visual storytelling, both as a viewer and as a storyteller. There are a lot of ways to tell the same story, so I enjoy the challenge of discovering the most impactful way for the story to be told so that it will affect anyone who experiences it in the best possible sense. Stories should make us FEEL something, and have a lasting impression on our lives. In many cases, impactful stories motivate us toward change or action, either in our personal lives or in the world… hopefully for the better.
What comes to your mind when you think about ONE WORLD?
ONE WORLD inspires me to view the Earth’s population as one global community. We are all connected, on every level… environmentally, emotionally, and in our own ways, culturally. We, as collective human beings, have so much potential for creating positive experiences for ourselves and each other through our talents, passions, and endeavors. If we use the knowledge of our respective histories and apply that knowledge toward building a better future, we can all benefit from an ideal existence together as ONE WORLD!