While being directed by her husband is nothing new, actress Kate Beckinsale once again steps in front of the camera for her hubby (director Len Wiseman) and this time, it’s in Sony’s Total Recall remake, which hit theatres this week.
Playing wife to Colin Farrell‘s character in the film, Beckinsale follows in the footsteps of Sharon Stone and kicks some serious ass in the role. Although, kicking ass isn’t really anything new to the actress, as she’s suited up as vampire hunter Selene in the Underworld series multiple times now.
At the LA press day for Total Recall, Beckinsale sat down with us to discuss the film, speaking on what it’s like to work with her husband, the preparation and training she had to go through for the role, how she approached the character and more.
Check out the interview below.
We Got This Covered: How was the preparation to stage probably one of the biggest all girl fight scenes in a long time?
Kate Beckinsale: I’m quite used to it now. People have been talking about the fact that me and Jessica are fighting each other. It was very much conceived that it was a fight that could’ve very well been between two men. It wasn’t one of those that you get in movies where somebody’s clothing gets ripped and it happens in quite a sexy way. It’s quite a vicious fight. I was fighting Jessica and Colin and there was a robot in there and it was a very small space. There was quite a few challenges involved, not least the fact that I had four days between movies. So it was very much “Oh my god. Here I am”, Work out the fights and try to learn them in time.
We Got This Covered: Who kicks ass better, you or Jessica?
Kate Beckinsale: I couldn’t possibly say. I think we were quite well matched. I think that’s one of the things that was good about it. I think that’s an impossible thing to answer.
We Got This Covered: Your fight scenes against Colin and Jessica are equally fierce, how much does that say about how far women have come in films?
Kate Beckinsale: I think it’s come a really long way and a lot of that type of thing has come from this genre of movie. I know that when I put my timid little action nose in the water on Underworld, as my experiment to even see if I could do it, I was looking for references and there was really only a couple. There was Sigourney Weaver and obviously the Sarah Conner character and then not much. It was not that long ago in real terms, and there’s quite a lot more now that legitimately do work, that’s not just a girl in tight pants. I think we’ll really have achieved something when we get to not wear tight pants and fight. Actually, I think Jessica might have achieved that in this very movie. She’s got cargo pants on (laughs).
We Got This Covered: How is it taking direction from your husband?
Kate Beckinsale: It is quite strange. He’s normally taking direction from me, because he never knows where anything is in the house. He can’t remember if he likes parsnips and things like that. I’m usually in charge going “No Babe, you don’t like parsnips. You say they taste like perfume.” Anyway, that’s our life, so it’s a slight gear change, but I met him that way, so it’s not terribly shocking. Certainly for the kissing and sex scenes and all that stuff, I think it’s by far more awkward for the third party coming in. The second man has a harder time. I’m ok with it. I think it’s possible as a woman to be fairly enigmatic. We don’t have any moveable parts. We can just kind of blank out. Nobody can tell what you’re really thinking. I think it’s much harder for boys.
We Got This Covered: It’s interesting that when your character goes full on bad girl that the British accent comes out. Was that intentional?
Kate Beckinsale: We thought that was just a fun thing we could do, but I also thought it’s mandatory for English actors, at some point, to play a villain in an American movie. I’ve checked that one off the list. It wasn’t written that way. We just thought it would be a nice signal of the deception to make it even more shocking. It’s funny, somebody said “Shouldn’t Colin say ‘why are you talking in an English accent?” I’m thinking, isn’t it more “Why are you shooting at me?” (laughs).
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