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Winkfield stuntwomen sisters to host American drive in movie event

Published: 9 May 2013 09:303 comments

TWO sister stuntwomen who come from three generations of stunt people are to lay on a film festival to give something back to their village.

The whole family being held up by an American stuntman Bob Yerkes, who worked with stunt mum, Tracey Eddon on Supergirl.

Carly and Casey Michaels, from Winkfield, will recreate the spirit of the American drive-in movie by staging a two-night screening of family favourites Grease and Ratatouille on a giant, open-air screen.

And with the heritage of a stuntman dad and mum, it's clear that the film industry blood courses through the veins of the former Marist Schools pupils.

"I love films and we want to give something back to the community," said Carly, 26, who qualified as a stunt woman in 2011. Her sister, Casey, 23, beat her by a year, qualifying in 2010.

Carly doubled for Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina and Casey has worked on Kick Ass 2, but the roll-call of famous people the family has worked with is a name-dropper's paradise.

Dad, Wayne Michaels, stood in for Pierce Brosnan in Golden Eye and the girls' mum Tracey Eddon, who started her career aged 13, was Carrie Fisher's stuntwoman when she played Princess Leia in Star Wars.

Carly, who has also doubled for Catherine Zeta Jones, added: "You need six qualifications in six sports. You train for a couple of years before getting on the stunt register.

"You have a choice of specialities like driving, diving, rock climbing, martial arts and have to get up to the required standard. My favourite skill is horse riding, but I haven't got a job doing that yet.

"My sister has had a few roles in Casualty, where she gets trampled on.

"It's either doubling roles or minor acting roles.

"My sister and I grew up in the film industry. It was very normal for mum and dad to go off and work on films when we were younger. We would get dropped off with our grandma, who lived round the corner.

"We went on set sometimes. In between takes my mum would come and breastfeed me and then go back to work. We grew up in dressing rooms."

The heritage of high-profile performers stretches back further; to their grandmother - Sadie Eddon - who was a Windmill Girl.

The risque dancers performed at The Windmill Theatre, London, wearing very little clothing, from the 1930s to the 1960s, and were the pin-ups of their day.

Sadie also ended up doing stunts in movies, which is how she met her husband. The girls' unconventional lives have helped them to develop a love of the movies, which is what they want to share with the people of Winkfield.

"The drive-in will be something fun and a bit different for families in Winkfield. We will see how this year's one goes and if it's a success, we will do at least one a year."

The drive-in film festival is scheduled for September 14 and 15 at Cheval Stud, Pigeonhouse Lane, Winkfield, SL4 4SD.

For information visit www.caseysdrivein.com.

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