Stab Magazine | Blake Lively's 'The Shallows' Stunt Double: 19-Year-Old Pro Surfer Isabella Nichols

Blake Lively’s ‘The Shallows’ Stunt Double: 19-Year-Old Pro Surfer Isabella Nichols

“I had to wear a vest to make the location look tropical but really it was freezing!”

girls // Aug 26, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you’ve seen the recently released shark-thriller The Shallows then you’ve unknowingly been introduced to Miss Isabella Nichols. The current Junior World Champion was selected just last year to be film celeb Blake Lively’s stunt double. A flattering offer you might say. To land a role in this field you don’t just have to fearlessly throw your body around for the cameras, your physique must mimic that of the actor/actress, in this case the flawless outline of the shark-attracting ‘Nancy’ (Miss Lively). Isabella, with her self-described “gnarly” fitness regime, appears to have the whole body-clone thing figured out. The Coolum Beach local recently interviewed with Teen Vogue revealing the methods she uses to maintain her Blake Lively figure and world’s-best surfing abilities; a blend of yoga with a hideous amount of lunges. Stab thought Isabella might have more to say about her Hollywood gig outside of burpees and sun salutations:

Blake Lively

Will the real Blake Lively please stand up?

Stab: So Isabella, what did they get you to do as Miss Lively’s clone?
Isabella: My main role was to act as a surfing double for Blake, but that evolved to me also teaching her how to paddle correctly, how to wax a board and put a legrope on and fins in. Basically to make her look more authentic which was fun!

Isabella Nichols1

Miss Nichols, high-performance celebrity.

Nice, with your experience that would’ve been super simple, yeah? 

The most difficult part about it was having to wear a vest to make the location look tropical but really it was freezing! But I wasn’t complaining because the waves were pumping!


More than qualified to pose as the surfer girl who fights for her life against a sea creature with an unnatural desire to consume humans.

How did you feel in front of the cameras? Was that intimidating at all? 

Wasn’t really nervous, just wanted to make sure I did what they needed me to do.

And Blake? 

Blake was incredible, she was so down to earth and it was pretty cool getting to work directly with her.

What did you think of how it all turned out? 

I loved the film, few scary bits in there but overall I had the best experience being part of it! 

Blake Lively Isabella Nichols Elite Daily

“It’s pretty exciting to have had the privilege of working alongside one of my favourite actors.”


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