BroBible: When did your transition from fighting to acting start?
Gina Carano: I always knew in my heart that if an opportunity was going to come, it was going to come, which it did through Steven Soderbergh. Ever since then, I’ve been like, just trust your heart a little bit more [laughs]… because those things do happen. He approached me after my last fight, which I had lost against Cyborg and I got a phone call that week, four days after the fight. My agent, you know how agents are, was like “you really need to take this meeting, he’s a director.” I was like I don’t want to see anyone. I still have a black eye, this is awful. We had lunch for four hours and asked if I wanted to do a movie and I was like, YES.
Can you tell us about your character in the film?
Yeah, her name’s Riley, which I think is a cool name. It’s only the second character in a movie I’ve ever had. She’s kind of a backup to The Rock. She’s on his team and is very loyal to him. She has some really cool twists and turns throughout the movie that I think the audience is going to be surprised by.
Does she have a love interest?
Ummm [laughs]… Let’s see. In her mind, always. You’ll have to wait and see.
How has the training you’ve received in MMA translate to acting? Not just in the physical part of acting, but acting itself?
It helps me so much because physical acting is often times just as important as verbal acting. I think what I bring to the table is just a natural sense of physicality, which I don’t really have to think about too much. Training to fight is a passion so when you have a passion, you get humbled. You get humbled when you go to the gym and you get humbled every day you go to the set. It’s interesting because it’s two kinds of parallel worlds.
Do you feel more or less pressure coming into a 6th film of a franchise?
This is important to me. This is the second movie I’ve landed so of course I take it really seriously. I mean, acting is really vulnerable. Like today, for instance, I was doing this look over my shoulder and all I kept thinking was Zoolander blue steel. I was like get that out of my head, why am I thinking that! Stop that!
Do you like the physical roles or would you want to move onto something that’s a little more dramatic and less about your background?
I’d love to actually because I’m kind of two different people. The physical part of me is very much different than me sitting here. You know, I’m shy, I’m nervous energy’d and I know that all about myself. I’d like to explore that side of me more because it’s natural and I think it’d be refreshing to see in me. But, I know I have to put in my time.
Are you doing any of your own stunts?
No no no. I do all the fight scenes and everything I can physically that way, but you can’t take anything away from stuntwomen and stuntmen. They do things that production won’t let me do. I know a lot of actors say that, but when you see these stunts, I’m just like I don’t know if I’d do that anyway because it looks like you just broke your neck [laughs]. I saw one today where a girl got hit by a car and she rolled over it. I don’t think I could do that.
During a fight scene, have you ever accidentally landed a punch much harder than you meant to?
You know, I have and it’s not a good feeling because I’m supposed to be the one that’s in control. I want to come across as a Steven Segal, but you hear these horror stories from all these stunt people. I was doing a spinning back kick against this one stunt woman, Sibil, and she’s so awesome and she told me to just give it to her. I said okay, just to make it look real, and it landed way harder than anticipated and ever body in the room was like “OHHH.” You feel like a big a**hole when that happens. Definitely not an ego boost.
What’s It like fighting men?
We’ll I’ve done it for the last 10 years, in and out of gyms. Sometimes it can be nice, like an ego boost, but sometimes it can really hurt. It’s not nice getting punched by a man.
You’re co-starring with The Rock. Who wins in a fight – you with your MMA moves or The Rock with his pro-wrestling moves?
I’d take on The Rock’s arm and that’s about it. But, I do have some pretty strong legs, just to throw that out there. [Laughs]
What’s coming up next for you?
There’s an “In the Blood” film that I might shoot in Puerto Rico, hopefully later on this year; if not, early next year. Then, there’s kind of a female “Expendables” type thing in the later part of next year, which will be really fun for me. I think in working with females will be great because the last film, there were no females and I’ve enjoyed working with females and seeing other woman act and interact so I can see something and say, okay well this is normal. When you’re with a bunch of guys, relatability is different with egos and all that stuff