Catching Up with Carano

It’s been almost three years since Gina Carano stepped out of the Strikeforce cage—and the hits just keep on coming for her.

The decision to continue fighting or take a stab at acting wasn’t an easy one for Gina Carano. After all, fighting had been in her life for so many years and is a huge part of her heart and soul. Now that she has tasted success outside of the cage, it may be a while before we see Carano compete inside of it.

These days, Carano has her hands full promoting the DVD release of Haywire, which she starred in opposite Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, and Antonio Banderas. She felt incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such immensely talented actors and was in awe the first time she met Douglas. On top of her promotional work, Carano has a new project that she is looking forward to.

“I just got a call to star in The Fast and the Furious 6,” Carano says. “I think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will also be involved, and I am looking forward to working with him. I have so much respect for him and how he has made the transition from being an athlete to a successful actor—he’s someone to look up to.”

Making the transition herself hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s something she has thoroughly enjoyed. Acting has given Carano the necessary fulfillment that she needed and helped keep her mind off of competing in the cage. Even though she hasn’t fought in nearly three years, she still keeps up with the MMA world.

“I always keep an eye on Marloes Coenen—she is awesome and was someone I looked up to when I was coming up in the sport,” Carano says. “I believe things are going to grow and get better for women’s MMA, and that’s one reason I can never say never when it comes to fighting again. I could wake up tomorrow, and, if it’s in my heart to fi ght, I’ll go for it.”

Until then, show business is keeping Carano busy. She’s enthralled with the entire process of making a movie. To her, the whole experience is like a dream—the cooperation between the actors, directors, producers, and the production crew is something that amazes her, not to mention the stunts involved.

Coming from an athletic background and training martial arts for many years allowed Carano to perform many of her own stunts in Haywire. In fact, she was involved in all of them, except for one that had her character falling off of a roof. Carano wanted to do the stunt, but there was a level of concern that production of the movie would halt if she suffered an injury.

When it came time to sit down and watch Haywire for the first time, Carano surrounded herself with family members for support. At times, she cringed and thought to herself, “Why did I do that,” and questioned some of the choices she made. While it wasn’t easy watching herself on the silver screen, she knows that it was her first movie and she has plenty of room to grow as an actress.

Carano knows that MMA will always be pulling at her heartstrings, and she is thankful for the opportunities that the sport has given her. It was her first love, and leaving MMA on her own terms to pursue other venues makes it that much more difficult. She also realizes that if she does get the itch to compete again, she will be welcomed back with open arms. It’s always nice to have the support of your friends and loved ones, and Carano has found solace from a surprising source.

“Some of the biggest compliments I get are from women coming up in the sport,” she says. “I love it when a female fighter tells me she loves my work and what I am doing with my life. When I get a compliment from another fighter, I know it’s coming from a good place.”

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