Gina Carano on ‘Haywire’

The MMA star talks about her feature film debut, Pride & Prejudice and whether she'll ever fight again.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

I first met Gina Carano when she was Crush on American Gladiators. The press predicted a star was born, and that was before MMA was as well known. So now she’s a famous fighter and she gets to be an action star, as a betrayed agent out to clear her name… by beating up guys. At a press conference for Haywire I got to ask Carano my questions about her heroics.


So many actresses look up to Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton as the fighting tough women in movies. Who were your icons for getting into real life fighting?

Gina Carano: It’s funny, I grew up on Anne of Green Gables and the earlier Pride & Prejudice. I didn’t really watch action films. Then I dated somebody who was a big fan of Bruce Lee. I know that sounds really weird coming from a tomboy but I think I balance myself out that way by watching those films. So 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.


Did you have to adjust your workout when you were working full time on a movie?

Absolutely. They had me getting up at 5 o’clock and then I did three hours of stunts and then three hours of Mossad secret service training with guns and pretty much boot camp and getting yelled at, getting stalked and stalking other people. After that I went and did strength and conditioning. There wasn’t any acting training until probably the week before. I had the script with me and I just had so much anxiety about it. I was like, “I don’t even know what to do with this damn thing.” Finally the week before, they were like, “All right, let’s try reading some lines with this acting coach.”


That sounds like more than your normal fight training.

I believe they were trying to brainwash me.


The reviews have been glowing, but if anyone writes a bad review will you beat them up?

[Laughs] Absolutely not. I don’t have that big an ego.


Your leg locks and wall kicks are so impressive, were there moves you wanted to be sure to get in the movie?

Yeah, the 87eleven had seen me fight a lot and so they knew my style. The more comfortable I got with them, the more we wanted to make sure each fight scene is different and had its own personality. But I also wanted to be true to my technique which I worked a lot on in the last 10 years.


Will you fight again?

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.