She plays a young Diana in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 movie – and Scottish actress Lilly Aspell performed ALL her own stunts in the action film, with Gal Gadot calling her ‘the real deal.’
The keen equestrian, 13, prepared for the role with sword training, paddleboard flips and show-jumping and has said that being active helped her to outrun the infamous Amazons in gruelling scenes – just as well, because director Patty Jenkins wanted to use ‘minimal CGI’.
Wonder Woman’s official title in her homeland is Princess Diana of Themyscira and the adult version of Diana is played by Israeli actress Gadot, 35 – the sequel is released on Wednesday.
Meet Wonder Woman 1984 star Lilly Aspell: Scottish schoolgirl, 13, performed ALL her own stunts and the keen equestrian prepared for the role with sword training, paddleboard flips and show-jumping (film still)
Getting into character: Lilly (left) posted an Instagram pictured of herself being fitted into her safety harness as she wrote #supportstunts’ (left), pictured (right), Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Two superheroes: Having called her an inspiration, Lilly shared a snap of herself with Gal in April and penned: ‘Happy birthday @gal_gadot. Whoever changes one life, changes the whole world. You changed my life. Love you forever’
A former member of the Israeli army, Gal, who also performed her own stunts, inspired Lilly with some of her own scenes, her favourite being the ‘gallop scene’ on a grey horse called Vendeval.
Gal said of Lilly in an interview with Graham Norton this week: ‘She’s the real deal.’
‘She’s 12 [now 13] years old, she works hard, she’s super talented. The stunt co-ordinator came to us and said, “she can stunt herself. We can’t find anyone to stunt her”. Anything you see, she is doing, she is amazing.’
The teenager shared a behind the scenes picture of herself with mother-of-two Gal in April and wrote about how much she had influenced her in her acting career.
She penned: ‘Happy birthday @gal_gadot. Whoever changes one life, changes the whole world. You changed my life. Love you forever.’
Fast as you can: A still from the WW84 trailer shows Lilly outrunning the Amazons, a race of immortal super-women that lived on the magical Paradise Island
Health and safety: Lilly also shared this picture of herself being laced into her stunt harness – Gal recently said: ‘The stunt co-ordinator came to us and said, “she can stunt herself. We can’t find anyone to stunt her”‘
Ready to race: In her own time Lilly loves a bit of all-terrain motorbike racing and isn’t afraid of a little speed
She is one to watch: Gal talked to Graham Norton about Lilly in an interview this week and said of her stunts: ‘Anything you see, she is doing, she is amazing’
Lilly gave an insight to how hard she worked on set on her social media accounts. Sharing a snap of herself being strapped into a safety harness, she wrote: ‘Fun times with my stunt harness #supportstunts’.
Wonder Woman 1984 (or WW84) is an American superhero film based on the DC Comics character and the sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman.
Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
No wallflower, Lilly, who has also filmed Netflix movie Extraction, practised some of her character’s famous flips on a paddleboard as she jumped into the ocean, under the guidance of @daynastunts.
In she goes: The active teen also shared a video of herself practising her stunts as she did a flip into the water off a paddleboard, under the guise of @daynastunts
Family: Lilly pictured with proud mum, Donna Caldwell, as she wrote about how much she loves her
Real life: Lilly’s mother shared this picture of her daughter on her first day at high school back in 2019, writing: ‘Obligatory back to school photograph (Better late than never). #proudmummy’, (left) and (right) in fancy dress as Miss Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s Matilda, complete with unibrow for World Book Day
Battle scenes: Lilly in action in the movie, released on Wednesday, in full costume as young Diana, who later earns herself the moniker Wonder Woman
Tagging her location as being in Themyscira, Lilly wrote: ‘SO excited for you to see Wonder Woman 1984’
She captioned an impressive video with the words: ‘Sunday Funday. #paddleboardflips ❤️#wonderwoman1984 #dayoff #youngdiana #dianaprince #lillyaspell #blessedandgrateful #jessiegraff #daynastunts.’
Both Lilly’s parents are jockeys and she has won countless awards as a show-jumper and equestrian on her pony, Turbo, all documented on her Instagram page.
She shared one picture of herself balancing on the back of her horse with no hands, and another with a selection of rosettes, as she wrote: ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner.’
Lilly previously told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘My favorite scene to shoot was riding Vendeval, the gray stallion, through the yellow field. I think it is an amazing scene and made me smile when I watched the movie.
Treasured moments: Lilly has said that her favourite scene to film was on a grey horse called Vendeval. She shared a picture of herself riding him while practising the ‘gallop scene.’
Impressive: Both Lilly’s parents are equestrians and Lilly has won countless rosettes as a showjumper
‘The most challenging was when I run up the stairs away from my tutor. We shot it a few times and although I’m pretty fit, I did get tired out!’
And talking about how she prepared to play a future superhero.
She said: ‘I am already very athletic and do a lot of running and horse riding, so physically I didn’t have to prepare much, but I did receive dialect coaching and sword training.
‘This was super fun and Nat and Alan who taught me were fantastic!’
She did it! Lilly posted this snap of her rosettes after one successful day day of showjumping and wrote: ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner’
Friends in high places: Lilly looked deligted to meet Catwoman herself Zoe Kravitz and wrote: ‘When mini Wonder Woman met CatWoman
Getting along nicely: Lilly pictured with Danish actress Connie Nielsen on set – she said: ‘Connie was so professional and has an amazing aura surrounding her. She helped me relax as my first days filming was with her and it was pretty nerve-racking!’
She also loves to engage in a little off-road motorbike racing and shared a picture of herself in her racing gear and on her bike, writing: ‘Having so much and being very safe with my new toy #readytorace.’
When she’s not being a movie star or engaging in her favourite sporting activities, Donna attends high school, just like everyone else.
Her mother, Donna Caldwell shared a sweet picture of her on her Instagram page on her first day at secondary school, writing: ‘Obligatory back to school photograph (Better late than never). #proudmummy’.
The pair are incredibly close and Lilly even wrote on one picture of the two of them together: ‘#FiercefemaleFriday. My mum. No matter how much I say I love you, I always love you more than that.’
Every girl’s dream: The young star backstage in hair and make-up (left) and treating herself to some fancy room service (right)
Ready for action: Lilly is every inch the superhero in this action shot as she writes: Believe with all your heart. Achieve with all your might’