Don’t let the sexy smile fool you…Raquel Riskin is a real tiger at heart. When the 28-year-old actress isn’t on set, she’s trying to keep up with what’s happening inside the cage. Just don’t make the Vancouver native pick between Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald.
Since you’re an actress, why aren’t you living in Los Angeles or NYC?
Because I’m a Canadian citizen, and it’s easier said than done, unfortunately. It’s kinda like the chicken and the egg—you can go there and hope to book something and work for the role, but technically, you need a visa to be there to work. I almost went over when I was 21, and then I decided I wanted to stay in the Vancouver market. Things fluctuate a bit. Sometimes it’s really fast, and sometimes it’s a little slower based on things like taxes and all kinds of stuff like that. But I decided to stay here and so far, everything is good.
What’s the coolest thing to happen in your career thus far?
I don’t know if i could pick a a coolest thing. Technically, the biggest role I’ve had was the first thing I ever booked. The first role I booked was the lead of a, low budget mind you, horror movie [Killer Bash], but I got the lead role, so that was a great start to learn. Ever since then, everything I’ve booked has been bigger than the next. As far as coolest for the résumé and what not, I recently co-starred in an episode of Motive. My résumé is growing, I’ve gotten all my credits, Ten to fifteen—something like that. I guess the coolest thing is being on the right path.
Right on. Clearly, you love MMA. How did you get involved with the sport?
I had an ex who was into MMA for years. I was watching every single fight, I knew everybody’s stats, and I was really into it. That isn’t entirely the case anymore, but that’s how I developed my passion for it and now, for sure, whenever there’s a big fight, I’m interested in it.
Who’s your favorite fighter? We can only guess…
Not to sound cliche, but the reality of it is GSP is awesome, and he is Canadian. Also, a friend of mine is doing extremely well with MMA right now. I told him about the FIGHT! shoot and he wrote back in a text, “Yeah, I was on a cover last year.” I’m like, “What? I haven’t seen any of your recent fights. Who did you beat last,” and he’s like, “ BJ Penn.” I’m like, “What? Really!” So yeah, Rory MacDonald is a friend of mine. I would say, for sure, he and GSP are my favorite fighters.
How did you become friends with Rory?
Through a friend of a friend. He briefly dated a girl I was friends with in acting school, and we met and stayed in touch. We chat every now and again. He’s one of those friends you can be proud of and excited for when things go well for them.
So how would you feel if Rory and GSP fought for the UFC Welterweight Title?
Oh my God, don’t even say that! Ahh… I wouldn’t even know who to cheer for. It would really be intense to watch, to say the least. Hey, what did you think of Randy Couture before he finished?
Randy was an OG. He came out of retirement in his 40s and beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC Heavyweight Title. Can’t hate on that.
Exactly, right? He is amazing. I don’t even think people realize how good he was because he doesn’t exactly have every win to prove how great his fighting skills are. But I think he’s money.
Do you have a crush on Randy Couture?
Well, maybe a little bit [laughing]. Is that so bad?
I’ll tell him next time I see him. What’s your opinion on women’s MMA?
My opinion is that it’s sweet. If women wanna train in it and do that, power to ‘em. It’s not different than guys—the same way some people have a problem with even guys fighting. My interpretation of it is, it’s not Hunger Games. No one is making them do it. They’re not being thrown in there and fighting to the death. Obviously, they’re there because that’s what they want to do, and even when worse comes to worse—they may not want to, but if they have to—they can tap out. They’re not being forced to be there, so what is there to worry about? I support it.
Let’s change it up. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have a piercing in my hand, on the top of my left hand. You know when you open your hand and try to flex your fingers back as much as you can, you see the tendons in the middle? I have a big diamond in the front of it. I grow diamonds, and by grow, I mean I paid someone to put it there.
I see. Do you moonlight as a rapper too?
No, but that would be fun.
So you have a tattoo on your left side, what is it?
Yes, it’s from my left hip to my left upper rib cage—it’s a tiger coming out of a waterfall.
What does it symbolize?
I’ve always had a fascination with those since I was a kid—just what a tiger embodies. It’s big, it’s powerful, absolutely beautiful, and they take good care of their young. They’re loving to their children and not every species is. Lions will eat their cubs. Tigers won’t do it, but at the same time, while being able to love, this big, beautiful creature can kill you in a heartbeat if they have to, and I just think that’s extremely sexy.
Follow Raquel on Twitter: @raquelriskin