Steven Soderbergh saw something in Gina Carano and immediately created a movie around her. That film is Haywire and it lands in theaters January 20. Carano is a gifted Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter who rarely loses. Unfortunately, she lost her last fight, but it proved fateful because it meant she was free to take that call from Soderbergh. Carano sat down with Movie Fanatic to dish appearing in Haywire, how the film came about and her thoughts on how Hollywood action movies rate when they portray fighting. She also surprises us by letting us know what some of her favorite films are... Pride and Prejudice? You bet!
Haywire follows Carano's character, a highly trained spy, who is betrayed by those who employ her (the cast includes Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum... who is the backstabber?!). Carano's character crosses the globe in order to find the truth and make right what is so wrong and in the process announces to the world that we have a new action hero in Hollywood.
Movie Fanatic: Were you familiar with Steven's work and how did the part in Haywire come about?
Gina Carano: I didn't know who he was [laughs]. I don't know much about Hollywood really. I'm still learning. I knew he did Traffic and that was a movie that really touched me. So I decided to pick him up at the train station in San Diego. We had a four hour lunch and at the end of it he offered me a movie. There was no auditioning. I don't know what that is like yet.
Movie Fanatic: Was training for this role as a spy who gets double-crossed any different than training for a bout?
Gina Carano: It was very different [laughs]. They had me getting up at 5 a.m. Then I did three hours of stunts and three hours of Mossad secret service training with guns -- pretty much boot camp and getting yelled at and getting stomped and stomping other people. After that I did strength and conditioning. There wasn't any acting training until probably the week before. I had the script with me and I had so much anxiety about it. I was like, "I don't know what to do with this damn thing." Finally a week before, they were like, "Let's try reading some lines with an acting coach."
Movie Fanatic: Did you have any action heroines that you looked up to like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens or Linda Hamilton in the Terminator movies?
Gina Carano: They are good at acting. I respect that about these women. Everybody has been trying to compare me to them. But I don't want that comparison. They are gorgeous. They can do anything they want, but they still do these kinds of roles. I think that's a beautiful thing. What I'm bringing to it is whatever I can to fight with my own flavor and my own personality.
Movie Fanatic: What films are your favorite from when you were growing up?
Gina Carano: I didn't really watch action films. It's funny. I grew up on Anne of Green Gables and the earlier Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. Then I dated somebody who was a big fan of Bruce Lee. I don't really have somebody I was looking at to mimic and I didn't have somebody I was looking to mimic in fighting either.
Movie Fanatic: This film was the next thing you did after your last fight. Will you get in the ring again?
Gina Carano: I think I'll get on the other side of this and land and figure that out. I haven't ruled it out to be honest.
Movie Fanatic: What's next for Gina Carano... perhaps Wonder Woman? I could totally see you as her. Take note, Hollywood!
Gina Carano: To be very honest, I think a lot of people have been waiting for this to come out and to see how it does and my performance. It's not the easiest role to break into but we have ideas and we have scripts and we have people that do want to work but it's not the easiest thing to get a film made. And as far as Haywire 2, that's all up to Soderbergh and I think everyone's just waiting for this film to come out. Regardless, I'm really excited to get on the other side of it and just land somewhere.
Movie Fanatic: We spoke to Michael Fassbender for A Dangerous Method and he told us that you put him in a nasty headlock that made him pass out. But, he seemed really game for the action. How was working with him?
Gina Carano: I'll tell you this: he had no problem slamming me into anything [laughs]. Soderbergh told him once, "We need to get this shot better when you slam her head into the wall." I was like, "Damn, this thing is not soft." But Soderbergh was behind the camera and he was being real mischievous, like he wanted something bad to happen. I slammed a vase in his face. I was supposed to throw the vase past him just for that take because we wanted to get my head slammed against the wall. We were going for it and he slammed my head so hard against the wall that I lost it for a second. I slammed the vase right into Fassbender's face, but he said he could see it coming because he saw a flash in my eyes. Right after that I thought, "Oh, I'm going to lose my job."