Gina Carano wants to be the next James Bond, but first she talks “Haywire”

By Sean O’Connell Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” ensemble is a veritable who’s who of Oscar winners, Hollywood icons, red-hot contemporary stars of the silver screen and … Gina Carano?

OK, so you might not be familiar with Carano just yet. But once you realize that she stomps into “Haywire” and absolutely steals it away from the likes of Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum, you’re going to sit forward and start to pay attention. Ms. Carano commands that level of respect and, in time, we believe she’ll earn what’s coming to her. Even if she has to physically take down every single person in Hollywood. One. Man. At. A. Time.

Carano couldn’t have been nicer during a recent conversation, though, about unique “Haywire” training, the fighting styles of her male co-stars, and her desire to be the next James Bond. Here’s Gina Carano: I just saw the film this morning.

Gina Carano: Oh, just this morning? I did.

It’s so funny, because they keep screening it for different people at different times, no one’s going to be left to go buy a ticket. [Laughs] Believe me, I’m going to tell a lot of people to go buy a ticket. The thing that struck me about “Haywire” is just how possible, how grounded, and how realistic all of the action is. I call it the anti-“Salt.” How much did you discuss with your director not going too far and keeping people rooted in reality?

Well, that is all Steven Soderbergh’s plan. He is authentic and real. He told me that he wanted this story to come across as something that could happen, and that people could believe in. It’s really nice to have a man with a great vision. And there really has been a great response from people who say they find it very realistic. I think it was during the rooftop chase in Dublin, which does take a long time, that I finally stopped and thought, “Well, yeah, it would actually take this person this long to get away from that many people.”

And do you know what’s so funny is that he actually cut that scene down a lot. He just enjoyed watching me run, I guess. [Laughs] But the studio told him, “It’s a little long.” So that was actually cut back tremendously. On the DVD, I want to see the entire sequence.

We’re actually going to have a lot of cool stuff on the DVD because there were a lot of fun things that went into the making of this movie. I came out of the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie the other day …

How is that? I really want to see it. Oh, it’s terrific. But driving home, it made me feel different. For a few minutes, before I allowed myself to disconnect, I felt like a character in that movie. How, then, do you disconnect after actually playing a character in a realistic, gritty action movie? Does it change how you do things? How you view the world?

Well, absolutely. Actually, Soderbergh paired me with a man named Aaron Cohen [credited as a “technical advisor”], and he’s ex-Mossad. This man went so far as to putting a GPS tracker on my car and we were playing little war games in Los Angeles.

I remember I was coming out of the hair salon and he showed up. We had these little blue guns that we were supposed to carry on us – and I mean me, Ewan, Channing and Fassbender – and if he ever snuck up on us anywhere in L.A., we were supposed to pull our guns and beat him to it. He did this outside of a hair salon, where I’m feeling really good. I’d just had my hair done! [Laughs] And I completely fumbled it and lost that game. How long did that go on?

Almost seven weeks! And he had me trailing poor, innocent soccer moms. I mean, these poor people. I had to trail them around Los Angeles without letting them catch on to the fact that I was following them. And then, halfway through the day, he’d say to me, “Oh yeah, and you’re being followed as well.” So I’d have to figure how who was stalking me, pretty much. I think that was Soderbergh’s way of brainwashing me into the role that is Mallory Kane. I love that, though. That’s so awesome.

I know. I realized that it was just like playing war with a bunch of 12-year-old boys. It was a brilliant way for Soderbergh to get me into this role. OK, so, which of you male co-stars hits the hardest?

They all have their different physicality about them. Channing is extremely strong and athletic. Fassbender is extremely tricky and kind of one of those … what’s the word I’m thinking of? Dirty. You want to say dirty.

[Laughs] Yes, Fassbender would be a dirty fighter. That’s what it is. And then Ewan McGregor was just so intelligent. He picked up the techniques very quickly. So they all had their strengths about them that would make them a dangerous fighter. I thought that they wanted Ewan for James Bond at one point?

I actually think they’d like Fassbender now. Forget that. Let’s put you in Bond.

I know! Haven’t we reached that point where the female can take the Bond character and just have a litter of very attractive men that are the Bond men? Listen, after seeing “Haywire,” I’m convinced that can happen.

Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” stars Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender. It opens everywhere on Jan. 20.

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