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In the summer of 2009, a er losing the first fight of her career, Gina Carano, a professional...

Ginacarano

In the summer of 2009, a er losing the first fight of her career, Gina Carano, a professional mixed martial artist, considered throwing in the towel. But at her agent’s insistence, the 29-year-old Texan agreed to meet with a director named Steven Soderbergh. "I had a black eye, and I didn’t want to see anyone," she says. "Especially not a director who, I’m embarrassed to say, I hadn’t heard of before. He wanted to make a movie based on a female action person—‘star’ feels too weird to say—who would make these Hollywood stage fights look believable." Two days after their first meeting, Soderbergh, the Oscar-winning director of films like Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven, and Traffic, asked the first-time actor to star in Haywire alongside Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, and Ewan McGregor. In the film, which Soderbergh wrote with Carano in mind, she plays a black-ops super-soldier seeking vengeance after she’s betrayed during one of her missions. "When I’m training for a fight, I beat myself up all day long," she says. "Filming a movie was draining in such a different way. Every day I woke up and was on some sort of adrenaline rush—I always felt high." After the film wrapped, Carano had a hard time coming down. "I got home after this incredible, life-changing experience, and had to think about who I was," she says. "I knew I had to go back to fighting." MMA enthusiasts, you’ve got Soderbergh to thank: Carano will reenter the ring on June 18. http://www.blackbookmag.com/article/mma-star-gina-carano-on-her-first-acting-gig-for-steven-soderbergh/26145

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