The film stars former Strikeforce champion Gina Carano, who made the leap into acting with Haywire. Although Carano and Haywire was no match for Kate Beckinsale and Underworld: Awakening, which pulled in $25.3 million the same opening weekend, Carano did earn the respect of co-star Ewan McGregor.
In a recent interview on Live with Kelly, McGregor was extremely complimentary of Carano’s acting chops, especially considering how she landed in her big screen debut.
“(Soderbergh) saw Gina Carano, he was channel surfing one night, and he saw her coming to the ring and then fighting,” recounted McGregor. “He thought she was such an incredible character, kind of her fighting energy, extreme and brutal, so he wrote a whole movie around her.
“He went to see her in Vegas and said, ‘I want to make a film with you,’ but he didn’t know what the film would be. She said okay, she was up for it, and then he constructed and wrote the film round about her.”
Of course, writing roles for celebrities in Hollywood is nothing new; it’s been going on for years. Does anyone remember Elvis Presley or Shaquille O’Neil?
It certainly hasn’t equated to box office success, however, in the case of Haywire, which was budgeted at an estimate $23 million and is only just now, a month and a half after its release, earning around $19 million in gross receipts.
Regardless, McGregor praised Carano’s acting, saying that she never really seemed nervous and that she “carried the entire movie… she really pulls it off; she’s very, very good.”
Not surprisingly, Carano’s fighting skills left an impression, as well.
“Well, I got the crap kicked out of me, really, by her,” said McGregor. “She’s incredible; the fight scenes in the film are really, really extraordinary, brutal and real because that’s what she does.”
Whether fighting is what she continues to do, now that she’s had a taste of Hollywood, remains to be seen.
Carano (7-1) hasn’t set foot in the ring since losing to Cris “Cyborg” Santos in August 2009, which was the fight that Soderbergh saw enough of that certain-something in Carano to build a movie project around her.
“Whatever happens happens. I’d be stupid to say I wouldn’t (act) again because I’d do it again a million times over,” Carano told MMAWeekly.com, leaving her future, both in movies and fighting, wide open.
“I’ve already done so much now. I’ve added this movie to my life and I’ve had such a wonderful time in mixed martial arts. I’m not trying to be greedy and snatch up all the dreams, but I’m just gonna keep going forward and see what happens.”