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Photos courtesy of Clay Enos & DC Comics

World Champion martial artist and stuntwoman Caitlin Dechelle received what many would call the best birthday present ever. She auditioned to be a stunt double for Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman on her birthday, and she got the role.

“For a lot of women this is going to be a huge, empowering movie and coming from the martial arts world and being such a woman role model, all these years I’d never think later that I’m going to double Wonder Woman or be a part of that legendary movie. To fill a role like this and create who and what she is action-wise it’s…wow, it was an amazing adventure.”

Dechelle credits her martial arts training and experiencing competing for preparing her for this role. “I always try to just stay focused and I know on that day what I have to do. There’s a task, I’ve trained for that task and I make sure I’m as prepared as I can be and then I just go. I attack.”

Dechelle spent six months in London working on stunts for the film and also spent time in Italy filming the training scene fights with Robin Wright. She enjoyed working with such a strong female cast including Wright, Gal Gadot, Connie Nielsen and director Patty Jenkins.  “Being with all of them was just amazing. When I look at them I most admire them for their skill and what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve done..I admire them for their drive and the direction they go because they’re doing what they love and they’re just so good at it.”

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In the full interview here, you can listen to Dechelle talk about her experience working on the film. One of her favorite action scenes was busting through the glass window to fight Gen. Ludendorff and similarly this film is breaking through glass ceilings this weekend. Patty Jenkins made history with the biggest domestic opening for a female director and this is the first major studio film franchise featuring a female superhero. It also beat out the openings of Iron Man and the first two Thor and Captain America movies.

 Dechelle has won over 95 martial arts World Championships and has also performed stunts in Furious 7, Teen Wolf and in the music video for Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood.