The stars of Netflix’s new ice skating series Zero Chill have recalled their tough two-month training bootcamp ahead of filming and how they got around their characters having to pull off ‘dangerous’ tricks on the ice.
Zero Chill follows the journey of 15-year-old figure skater Kayla (Grace Beedie), who strives to find the limelight after her family moves from Canada to England so that her twin brother Mac (Dakota Benjamin Taylor) can enrol at an esteemed ice hockey academy.
While watching her brother train at the fictional Hammarström academy, Kayla befriends Sky (Jade Ma), who works at the ice rink’s cafe and turns out to have her own history with ice skating.
During a recent Zoom chat Jade and Dakota recalled how ice skating has been a hugely significant element of their lives since childhood, with both deciding to put their passion for ice skating to one side so that they could pursue careers in acting.
Jade explained that while she partially ‘lost the love’ for ice skating when she was young, having begun skating at three years old and skated competitively as a child, when the opportunity came to ‘marry her loves of skating and acting’, she jumped at the chance.
‘We had two months of intense training bootcamp leading up to filming. The first week was just me, Dakota and Grace, we had this very intense week-long bootcamp we were sore every morning, but it really brought us together as like a little trio,’ the Black Widow actor said.
‘Eventually when the rest of the cast joined it really made us all bond as a cast,’ she recollected, adding that they were ‘fortunate’ to have ‘incredible’ figure skating coaches.
On the ice hockey side, Dakota – who has been ‘playing hockey since I could walk, essentially’ – felt privileged to train with players for teams including the Sheffield Steelers, the Sheffield Steeldogs and the Sheffield Steelhawks, as the show was filmed in Sheffield.
The actor said that retired professional hockey player Ron Shudra ‘put us hockey boys through the wringer’, adding: ‘We had a great time, and it hurt really bad, but we all loved it.’
As anyone who’s watched this year’s series of Dancing On Ice will be well aware of, ice skating at an elite level comes with an increased risk of accidents.
Fortunately for the stars of Zero Chill, they didn’t suffer any dropouts due to injury, unlike the ITV competition.
‘I think we were honestly really lucky on the injury front,’ Jade said, albeit admitting that they would sometimes ‘come home from training covered in bruises’.
‘You’re falling on something very hard, you’re going to bruise. And especially with pucks flying around for the hockey guys,’ she said.
‘There were definitely a couple of times where it was like, “ooh, that looks sore.” But, definitely very fortunate in terms of no serious injuries at all.’
‘Nothing you can’t bounce back from,’ Dakota added.
While the stars of Zero Chill are all proficient skaters, having had to prove they could skate as part of the casting process, doubles were used in case moves were deemed too ‘dangerous’.
Jade explained that while she and Grace did the majority of their own skating for the figure skating scenes, they had ‘incredibly talented figure skaters’ who would stand in ‘for the stuff we couldn’t do or that we weren’t insured to do’.
‘The risk of injury for those jumps is so much higher,’ she stated.
‘So when it comes to like, “oh cool, we’re going to get you to do a double axel here,” they were kind of like, “hmm, we’re not going to let you guys do that because that’s dangerous and these girls are professionals.” They’re both GB figure skaters, so they’re going to be amazing at that kind of thing.’
Dakota added that the ‘Steeler boys’ were more likely to be able to ‘take a hit much better than we can’ – although he added that he ‘took plenty of hits throughout the season’ in his ice hockey padding.
‘When it came to doubles, it was really interesting how we shot it, because there was no one time that we stepped off and this section of the day was just for the double, and vice versa,’ he outlined.
‘It was very equal. It was let’s get the take with the actor in the frame this time, and we’ll take it from the top and we’ll do it in the exact same way with the double.
Dakota added that while he has ‘been playing hockey for a very long time’ and is ‘very happy’ with his skills on the ice, ‘all those guys are much better’.
‘That is what they live and breathe, and that is their element and they’re very good at what they do.’
Zero Chill is available to watch on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.