Photo Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage
Is professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Gina Carano about to become Hollywood's first female action star? Sure, there are plenty of actresses who excel at train-jumps and fight scenes, like Angelina Jolie -- but few of them have actually done any real-life butt-kicking. Carano, 29, does it for a living. Now, with the lead role in director Steven Soderbergh's upcoming action film Haywire, the MMA star is poised to bring her penchant for pain-inflicting to the big screen. Watch the Haywire trailer below!
In Haywire, Carano plays a black-ops super-soldier who sets out on a mission of vengeance. In real life, Carano is a Mixed Martial Arts and Muy Thai champion, formerly ranked No. 3 worldwide in the MMA 145-pound weight class. Though she has appeared on reality TV in the Oxygen series Fight Girls, as well as on the NBC show American Gladiators, Haywire is Carano's first acting job -- and she says she had the "time of her life" filming it.
"Running across the rooftops of Dublin, running through the streets of Barcelona -- it was just incredible," Carano said while presenting the Haywire trailer at Comic-Con.
Soderbergh cast Carano alongside Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Channing Tatum. While she had no problem holding her own in the fight scenes, some of her male costars hated the idea of punching a girl -- like Tatum, whom Carano had to bully into punching her.
"She called me the female P word, and then I had to (punch her), for my manity," says Tatum. "I hit her and she hit me back twice as hard. Then I didn't want to hit her anymore."
Ha! Judging by the trailer, that's not the only time Carano showed the boys a thing or two about fighting. Haywire is scheduled for release January 20, 2012.