Carano embraces ‘badass’ character on ‘The Mandalorian’


How Gina Carano used MMA experience for ‘The Mandalorian’

Gina Carano of ‘The Mandalorian’ on Disney+

Q: How physical a role is your character, soldier Cara Dune, on “The Mandalorian”?

A: She wasn’t originally written as physical. Once we started going through the scripts and everything, I was kind of shocked, like “where’s my fight scenes?” (Laughs) I mean, I love to do physical and so once they started putting a blaster in my hands and once they started seeing me be physical, I think that it’s gotten more physical because I think that happens on a lot of movies. Like, “OK, you be the badass in the corner and just kind of like be the muscle.” And then they start seeing me be physical and they’re like, “Oh, well, we need more of this.”

And so on one of the mornings … me and the stunt guys created a fight scene in about an hour and a half and then I went into hair and makeup. … I was already sweating, so to cool me down they had to put like three fans on me and then they had to do my hair and makeup, and then we had to go back and do the fight scene because they added a fight scene just because they loved the physicality of what I can do there. I think once people see what I can do in person, they’re like, “Oh, let’s do more of that.” (laughs)

Q: Obviously, your mixed martial arts background had to help there, correct?

A: Yes, absolutely. I think a lot of fighters have tried to make the transition. I’ve been in acting now for almost a decade … and I’ve gone through everything. And I don’t mean to sound cocky but one thing I do bring to films – and it’s something that Steven Soderbergh caught onto right away – is I can make it look real. Like there’s no camera trickery. You can just kind of believe that, “Oh, maybe this woman can take on that guy.” Or that monster or whatever it is, or that machine. And I think that that’s kind of something that I’ve got a little bit of a one-up on with most of the actresses trying to do action. And I’m proud of that.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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