Aliso Viejo resident Stina Hubinette, a professional stunt driver for commercials, makes her feature film debut in the most recent “Charlie’s Angels.”
You could say Hubinette’s stunt-driving career began on ice. Raised a few hours south of the Arctic Circle in Umeå, Sweden, she often enjoyed spinning her car on frozen roads. “I always had a passion for cars and sliding the cars on ice, like all the people in Sweden do if you live up north. Even our grandmas did that! It’s very common to do that with a snowy road.”
It was also in Umeå that she met her husband, fellow Swede and auto racing daredevil Samuel Hubinette. Samuel moved from Sweden to Newport Beach to pursue his racing career, Stina joined him in 2005, and the two were married in 2006. They settled in Aliso Viejo and have three children.
People have certain expectations about a woman who shows up to set
and says ‘I’m the stunt driver.’ … For me, it’s helpful to be the underdog.
When Stina tried driving at some of Samuel’s racing events, the couple realized that she had talent as well. “I got to go to all of (his) racing schools and drive all of the different cars on the race track. And that’s when Samuel could tell that I just had a natural way (of knowing) where to go on the race track, because there’s a specific line you’re supposed to drive to pull a fast lap around the course.”
Stina learned many of the more difficult maneuvers from her husband, who drove stunts in three of the “Fast and Furious” movies. One of the couple’s specialties is drifting—oversteering a vehicle until it slides. But the Hubinettes are cautious in their work. “A lot of people, when I say I’m a stunt driver, maybe they assume I’m flipping cars and crashing them. And we don’t do that. We’re more on the precision side, with the drifting and the sliding and positioning the car at certain spots.” However, she’s not opposed to trying collision stunts. “I might if someone would ask me, depending on what it was!”
Stina’s regular stunt work is for commercials, and “Charlie’s Angels” was her first feature film experience. “I was doubling for the main actress, (“Aladdin” star) Naomi Scott. She was super sweet and a really talented actress.” Stina was made up to look like Scott and used her training in drifting for one of the movie’s scenes. “I would love to do another feature, if the opportunity came up. It was fun.”
Aside from the thrill of driving stunts, Stina says the best part of her job is working with her husband. “I like that we are doing the same thing, because we can understand each other. A lot of commercials are very last minute, so you may not know until a week before or maybe less sometimes that you are working. We kind of go with the flow. A lot of times, Samuel and I get to work on the same commercial, which is always fun. We call it a paid date—no kids are tagging along, and it’s just us!”