Written on May 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm , by Karla Walsh
Gina Carano would have never imagined her life as it is today when she stepped into her boyfriend’s Muay Thai gym nearly 10 years ago. “I grew up in Las Vegas, which is a big fighting community, but never did so myself,” Carano says. “I entered the gym to try it out and one of the guys there said, ‘Oh baby, you need to lose weight. You’re fat!” She took that as a challenge, lost 30 pounds and went on to become one of the nation’s best female mixed martial arts stars (her record, combining MMA and kickboxing: 19-2-1). Talk about fierce!
She caught the eye of more than just fighting fans. Director Steven Soderbergh saw her spar—perhaps he even watched her as “Crush” on the latest incarnation of American Gladiators—and knew that she would be the ideal leading lady for his new action film Haywire, available on DVD now. “We had a four-hour lunch and I walked away with the job,” Carano says. Training from then on to be a freelance covert operative was intense: “For eight weeks leading up to filming, I spent three hours doing boot camp with Aaron Cohen [who has worked in counterterrorism], practiced stunts for three hours and trained in the gym for another two each day,” she explains.
Sharing the screen with big names including Channing Tatum (“hilarious,” according to Carano), Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender could have been intimidating for a new actress, but Carano took it in stride. “It was such a fun experience,” Carano adds. “I’m not like my character at all—she doesn’t smile and I’m such a goofball. It was really healthy to explore the more serious side of me, but I was smiling off camera because I was having a blast!”
So what’s next for the active actress? Carano is in negotiations to star in Fast and Furious 6. If everything falls into place, “I’ll be that girl on set just happy to be there. At this point in my career, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose,” she says.
Written on November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am , by Samantha Shelton
Whenever the latest blockbuster hits theaters, we rush to our seats to watch stars pounce from vehicle to vehicle, race through a collapsing building or barrel under a semi-truck. With all this action, we often forget that someone other than the superstar is actually performing these stunts. Sometimes celebs, like Tom Cruise, are fit enough to do their own moves, but most often a professional is called in for the job. Enter Luci “Steel” Romberg, a professional stuntwoman and freerunner, who has been in top films like Green Lantern, Zombieland and Terminator. We caught up with the super-fit daredevil to find out how you get into a less-than-mainstream career and what keeps her always coming back for more.
Most people don’t think of “stuntwoman” when plotting out future careers. What made you pursue this path?
I was a gymnast all through college, and a national champion my senior year at Texas Woman’s University. I was a kinesiology major, but there just wasn’t really anything else I wanted to do. I could have been a professor, a physical therapist, a coach or a handful of other things with my degree, but none of them appealed to me. One day one of my teammates came back from acting in L.A., and she just convinced me to give it a shot. When I first got there, I had no idea what being a stuntwoman actually entailed. I was just so pumped on the idea of it that I knew I had to at least give it a try. I’ve been lucky enough to stick around.
What’s a typical day like when you’re hired for a film?
There is no typical day. Sometimes it’s really exciting and you’re working right away, doing anything from falling down a flight of stairs to rolling under a semi-truck, and other days you spend the day waiting around to see if they’re going to get to your segments. It’s definitely exciting though, I love that I don’t know what to expect when I go into work.