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Madeleine Vall Beijner

Madeleine Vall Beijner was a pro-fighter from 2004 to 2015 and a member of the Swedish national team. Ranked third best in the world in Thaiboxing in her weight-class, she holds three World Championship bronze medals and is a Swedish, and European champion. She has more than 56 wins in Thai- and kickboxing-six of which were knockouts.

In 2015 she retired her gloves and made a drastic move from the ring to the silver screen. Her first role as a stunt actress was in the gigantic Warner Bros. production "Wonder Woman" (June 2017) in which she plays the Amazon warrior, Egeria. Everything Madeleine does, is with the poise of a professional athlete.

"Most people think I am fearless in everything that I do, but just because I could defend myself (and my family) if someone picked a fight, doesn't mean that I am not nervous when I am in a new environment."

The real transition from fighting to a stunt actor career began in 2016 with fencing, shooting lessons, horseback riding and a motorcycle license. She also began taking acting classes. And, while Madeleine (like so many other Swedes) is proficient in English, she needed to boost her confidence, work on flow and wanted to remove her Swedish accent in order to improve her opportunities on the international scene.

"It was after my first audition when I realized that my nervousness (because of my English) took away from what I really needed to focus on how I delivered my lines, how I moved... If I could exude confidence, seduce the camera."

Suddenly I was standing in front of, not just any casting agent, but the owner of one of the world's largest casting agencies, and then, a major Hollywood director. I was petrified to sound like I'd never spoke a word of English in my life and that I'd lose the chance, so I tried to say as little as possible. This is obviously the worst-case scenario when you may have as little as 30 seconds to make an impression.

Thanks to Berlitz I now have boosted my courage to try out for roles and deliver lines from a script-one less thing to think about. While high quality and professionalism is to be expected from a global corporation like Berlitz, I was pleasantly surprised as to how well they also manage to foster a "local feel" to their operation.

The thing that impressed me the most was how seamlessly Berlitz and all of their personnel tailored the type of instruction and coaching I needed. Being used to having a coach in fighting, usually one that you spend years developing a repertoire with, Immie (my instructor) seemed to have my needs and me down pat already after the first meeting. I felt like I was coming home to my best friend, who was there to help me achieve the biggest challenge of my life, every time I sat in Immie's office.

I am hoping to come back to my Berlitz Stockholm family soon in preparation for an international role. I'm ready for the next step.