Legless New Zealand woman swims with ‘mermaid tail’February 25th, 2009 - 3:12 am ICT by IANS
Wellington, Feb 25 (DPA) New Zealander Nadya Vessey, who lost her legs in a childhood illness, now swims like a mermaid - thanks to Oscar-winning movie special effects wizards Weta Workshop, according to media reports Wednesday.
The workshop, which won Oscars for their effects on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, made a mermaid wetsuit for her, complete with fishtail, which she tested in a Wellington pool.
Weta costume-maker Lee Williams said in an interview with Televison New Zealand that she wanted Vessey to be “beautiful and sexy” in the suit, which contains plastic moulds and has hand-painted fish-like scales.
After seeing her swim with it, she said, “It was absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful to watch Vessey swim and to see that dream come true and to be a part of that. I feel quite blessed.”
A thrilled Vessey said the idea stuck with her after telling a small boy who asked what had happened to her legs that she was a mermaid.
“A prosthetic is a prosthetic, and your body has to be comfortable with it and you have to mentally make it part of yourself,” she said.
Oscar-winning Weta Workshop director Richard Taylor said he agreed to Vessey’s request because it was a challenge.
He said the tail had to be not only functional, but it was important it looked realistic. “What became apparent was that she actually physically wanted to look like a mermaid,” he said.
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Tags: childhood illness, costume maker, director richard, effects wizards, fishtail, legless, lord of the rings trilogy, mermaid, nadya, new zealander, oscars, plastic moulds, prosthetic, richard taylor, swims, televison, vessey, wetsuit, workshop director, zealand woman