Former Husky LaBatte Featured in 'Stick It'

May 4, 2006

Seattle -- Former Husky Gymnast Tacia (LaBatte) Van Vleet is featured in 'Stick It,' an April 2006 release from Touchstone Picture and Spyglass Entertainment.

'Stick It,' starring Jeff Bridges and newcomer Missy Peregrym, follows a rebellious 17-year-old who is forced to return to the regimented world of elite gymnastics. In the film, Van Vleet filled several roles: as lead stunt double for the 'Wei Wei' character, and as one of the elite gymnasts coached by Bridges.

Jessica Bendiger, who wrote and directed 'Stick It,' said Van Vleet did twice as much gymnastics than the other gymnasts in the film.

'We were struggling trying to find a double for one of our lead actresses, Nikki Soohoo, when Tacia appeared at our Los Angeles audition,' said Bendinger on the official website for 'Stick It.' 'Tacia's tumbling and balance beam skills were unbelievable, and we were very excited about the possibility of casting Tacia as Nikki's stunt double. Fortunately, Tacia and Nikki's proportions were a great match, and we were thrilled to cast Tacia in two important roles.'

Van Vleet doubled for Soohoo in three big competition scenes, but eventually had to play two parts for the same competition sequence, said Bendinger.

'Tacia would double for Nikki, and then quickly change her hair and leotard and come back and perform as her character. Tacia was really tough, switching back and forth and doing twice the gymnastics as the other athletes. I hope her fellow Huskies will be as proud and impressed with Tacia as we are.'

Fellow former Husky gymnast Carly Dockendorf, who auditioned with Van Vleet, was also offered a role in 'Stick It.' Dockendorf had to decline, Bendinger said, since she is still competing in pole vault for the Huskies track and field squad.

A native of Kaneohe, Hawaii, Van Vleet (then Tacia LaBatte) competed for the Huskies from 2002-2005. She was an honorable mention selection to the Pac-10's All-Academic squad in 2002, and an individual qualifier to the 2003 NCAA Championships. Van Vleet was also a member of the 2004 Husky Cheer squad.

'Stick It' was written and directed by former gymnasts Jessica Bendinger, whose credits include 'The Wedding Date' (producer', 'Sex & The City' (writer/creative consultant) and 'Bring It On' (co-producer and writer), amongst others.

For more information about 'Stick It,' visit its website at http://stickit.movies.go.com/.

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