BY: JORDAN CANN | JULY 31, 2020
When he wasn’t learning his moves from watching movies he was scanning through Hapkido books to learn his stretching techniques. And from the looks of his instagram those stretching techniques are still holding up to this day. While Toney was anxiously waiting for his time to shine in Hollywood he worked as a security guard by night and trained by day. His first stunt job was a live performer at Seaworld. He trained under the same teacher who had a very personal relationship with action movie legend, Chuck Norris. That led him to receive a scholarship to train in formal martial arts where he competed on an Olympic level.
You know his work, but do you know the MAN?
Aaron Toney is one of thee most sought out stuntmen in all of Tinsel town. If you’ve seen Captain Falcon in any Marvel movie, you’ve seen him. In fact if you’ve seen any Marvel movie made within the last few years, then you’ve seen him. As much as we’d love to imagine that our beloved superheroes and the actors who play them are responsible for all of their own work it’s just not true. Aaron Toney should be the one to take credit for making your favorite superheroes look good.
Toney officially started in the film business in 2003 doing stunts in the film, Cradle 2 The Grave starring rapper, DMX and he is stated to have received his first “doubling” job in Muy Thai action hero, Tony Jaa’s film, The Protector. He doubled capoeira master, Lateef Crowder Dos Santos in the scenes where Lateef was out of the film for injuring himself during the fight against Jaa. But way before that Toney began his journey in San Diego, CA, then around the age of two his family moved to the Los Angeles area where his fascination for old-school martial arts movies took over. He took weekly trips to the now extinct video stores getting his hands on at least one Jackie Chan and one Bruce Lee flick.
Many of his acrobatic tricks were molded at L.A. Valley College where several stunt legends trained. Those same legends that he would see on television and film began to help him build relationships to usher him into the stunt realm. His first fight demo was with the breakout action director, Sam Hargrave of the Netflix smash, Extraction.
Since then he has built a hefty resumé working on many popular films including Rush Hour alongside his idol, Jackie Chan, Norbit, Pirates of The Caribbean, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Avatar, Tron: Legacy, Takers, Hunger Games and so many more. But when the surge of Marvel movies started to take over the world that’s when Toney truly stood out amongst them all. Especially on a commercial level. From getting shoutouts on nationally syndicated television shows from celebrities such as Anthony Mackie to popping up on social media feeds everywhere for his work on the global box office hits, Black Panther and both Avengers films. Not only was he succeeding as a stuntman, but he was being recognized as a respected fight coordinator. And every now and then he would make an appearance in a major film where he would introduce some of his acting abilities. Because of these things many people including myself began to look into Toney’s history and even considered him an option to lead a solo movie.
One of Toney’s specialty is costume work. When we mentioned Black Panther earlier we forgot to mention that when Chadwick Boseman was in his trailer looking over scripts, Toney was strapping on the famous Black Panther suit to battle with Marvel villains. One of the reasons Anthony Mackie respects Toney the way that he does is because Toney helps him look good too. If you google Captain Falcon you're more than likely to see Toney's face. Toney really brings Captain Falcon to life, delivering many intricate moves including his famous scissor kick into a butterfly twist attack, which he calls the, “Scissor Kick Twist Down.” But the real question is, which superhero uniform hasn’t Toney put on?
If you’re wondering what Aaron Toney is up to these days, well he just launched his short film, Throne which goes on to solidify our claims that he can possibly handle a solo film and he’s also the founder of a viral movement that took place during quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic called the, “Fight Challenge” where martial artists, stuntmen and stuntwomen take virtual strikes at one another through their cellphones. It was inspired by another viral challenge called the, “Don’t Rush Challenge”. But Toney’s challenge looks a lot "cooler".
"I have nothing more
We can also look forward to seeing Toney sharing the screen with action superstar, Scott Adkins in The Debt Collectors 2. When he’s not beating up bad guys he co-owns J.A.M. a world famous training facility where tons of stunt performers, dancers, martial artists, trickers, and gymnast call home. He’s also a proud husband and a father to two wonderful children.
Toney has been asked in an interview if he will continue to perform stunts and as most stuntmen would say “No”. In fact he has gone on record to say that he desires to lend a helping hand to upcoming stunt performers by educating them on how to succeed as a consistent working stunt performer. Many stuntmen go on to become directors, coordinators and maybe Toney will go on to do such, but here at at B.A.S., we are crossing our fingers for a groundbreaking action movie from Toney and maybe if we cross our finger's tight enough, it might just happen.