Profile of Gina Carano

Name: Gina Joy Carano
Aliases: Conviction, Crush
Date of Birth: 16 April, 1982
Birth sign: Aries
Height: 5′ 8” (1m73)
Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)
Country: Texas, USA

TRAINING BACKGROUND

  • Muay Thai (under Master Toddy)
  • Progressed to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Wrestling

EARLY YEARS

Born in Dallas, Texas, Gina was destined to be an athlete. With an NFL quarterback for a father there was little doubt that Gina was not going to be athletic! Her ancestry includes Italian, English, Scottish, and native American.

The middle of three girls, Gina grew up in Las Vegas where she displayed a natural talent for dance and sport – jazz, ballet, gymnastics, horse riding – and generally behaved tomboyish.

Gina graduated from Trinity Christian High School where she was the star athlete, excelling in volleyball, softball and basketball and lead the girls’ basketball team to a state title. She progressed to the University of Nevada, with a view to studying psychology, where she was offered positions in the softball and basketball teams but had to leave near completion of her degree due to family reasons.

FIGHTING YEARS

At 21 Gina found herself without a rudder, no direction in her life at that moment and standing in a local Muay Thai gym when she was told in no uncertain terms by a trainer that she was, overweight and needed to slim down. She started training and was quickly hooked. Her natural strength, agility, strong punches and deadly kicks brought her to the attention of the renown Master Toddy (who was also 4 times World Kickboxing Champion: Kash The Flash’s Muay Thai teacher) and she rapidly progressed under his tutelage, defeating all and sundry. Gina began traveling internationally to compete in Muay Thai tournaments (a journey documented in the 2005 TV show, Ring Girls) and in order to be taken seriously as a fighter rather than a pretty face notched up an impressive 12 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw; suddenly the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) took notice of this tough yet beautiful new fighter making a name for herself.

Whilst the glamour and excitement of travelling to Muay Thai competitions was fun, Gina realised the real money to be made was in the world of MMA.

She worked with Randy Couture to master her ground game and submission skills needed to compete in leagues like UFC and EliteXC and, in no time, showed the world that Gina Carano was fists and feet above all other female fighters in the world.

MMA AND BEYOND

Carano’s strength, power and skill dominated in the ring (7 wins, 1 loss) but it was her personality and undeniable good looks that made her a star outside the ring.

This star quality saw her cast in her first Hollywood blockbuster, Haywire (2011), a hard-hitting, bone-cruncher of a film in which she plays a double-crossed ‘black ops’ agent, starring an ensemble cast (including Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas) and directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh. Her performance and physical strength lead one critic to comment “…Gina has tremendous presence: an intriguing mix of muscular power and eye-catching femininity.”

Her next role saw her co-starring opposite Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, in the highly successful franchise Fast & Furious 6 (2013), notable for its gritty and realistic fight scene between Gina and co-star Michelle Rodriguez (see link below) and which has to date earned more than $780million worldwide!

Not one to sit on her laurels, 2014 saw the release of In the Blood, a bloody and violent female version of Taken, whereby Gina goes on the rampage whilst searching for her kidnapped husband. Although not as great a commercial success as Haywire, the film nevertheless delivers what the title promises!

For those who can’t get enough of Gina, rest assured, she will be returning to the big screen; future projects include an all-female film version of The Expendables and more excitingly, a big-screen adaptation of Liefied’s Avengelyne, an angel who fights the forces of evil. There is also talk of a role as Circes, the alluring Greek goddess, in an upcoming Percy Jackson sequel and a potential Wonder Woman reboot!

Quotes from and about Gina

  • “When I was training, women weren’t as accepted as they are now. It was not a female-friendly environment. The only reason I was accepted was because I kept my mouth shut.” – Starting out in Muay Thai
  • “There was no fear anyone could instil in me that would get me to stop fighting.” – The MMA years
  • “It was all about creating the best fight scene that we could. It was OK to get hurt. With the stunt guys also, they were used to actresses. I actually had to tell that one stunt guy, ‘No, you put me into that wall as hard as you can.’ And he put me into it so hard I actually went white for a second.” – On filming Haywire
  • “We had a great energy and she was willing to make the best possible female fight scenes she could. She trusted me to be physical with her in an aggressive way.” – On fighting with Michelle Rodriguez
  • “I don’t know how I’m supposed to make a movie that is supposed to be the female version of The Expendables without Gina Carano in it. It would be like making Twix without caramel or Jamba Juice without Jamba.” – Producer Adi Shankar

DID YOU KNOW

  • Gina does all her own stunts and actually smashed the vase on Michael Fassbender’s head in Haywire.
  • Her voice was altered in post-production for Haywire; that’s not her speaking voice.
  • Gina was nominated for the 2013 Critics Choice Awards for best actress in an action movie for Haywire.
  • Carano appeared in the Almost Human episode “Unbound” as the combat droid Danica.

VIDEOS

RING GIRLS (2005)

HAYWIRE (2011)

FAST & FURIOUS 6 – FEATURETTE

IN THE BLOOD (2014)

FILMOGRAPHY

YearTitleRole
2007Fight GirlsMentor
2008Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
2009Blood and BoneVerett
2011HaywireMallory Kane
2013Fast & Furious 6Riley Hicks
2014In the BloodAva
2014Almost HumanXRN Danica

LINKS

Twitter: @ginacarano
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ginacarano

Olivier is an enthusiastic film lover of all things martial arts!

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