Bettina’s Take: ‘Haywire’ Cinema Society Screening

Gina Carano, the gorgeous 29-year old mixed martial arts superstar, is currently starring in Steven Soderbergh's latest movie, Haywire. Talk about accomplished.

At the Cinema Society screening in New York City, Carano spoke to FashionEtc about the challenge of transitioning from one medium to another.

"I'd never acted before," said the tall, buff and surprisingly soft-spoken champion, wearing Bebe, "but I think that my fighting background, and being in front of thousands of people in very intensive circumstances, helped me a lot."

The movie, an adrenaline-fueled thriller about a highly trained government operative betrayed by her colleagues, features Carano fighting with the likes of Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum—and they are all impressive fighters.

It seemed a little scary, but for Ewan McGregor, fighting was the best part of making the film.

"We had a big fight scene, me and Gina, and that was the most fun," the approachable and upbeat McGregor told us—180 degrees from the character he plays in the film.

"It's just fun learning fights, learning the choreography. When you've got something physical to do it's great fun, especially when you're doing it with such a professional, capable and attractive athlete. Gina doesn't break sweat. She's better than I could ever, ever be—so that was my main worry, keeping up with her."

Soderbergh and producer Greg Jacobs developed the movie around Carano, so the fight scenes were real and choreographed—a throwback to a time before intense special effects.

"The biggest challenge was maintaining confidence about the approach," said Soderbergh. "The way we were shooting the action isn't the way a lot of people are shooting action lately. Believing that it would work, and that it would be compelling to audiences now, was the hardest part. We'll find out this weekend [when it opens] if we were right. We're going against the grain of the way people are shooting action right now. I was able to use a more classical style because I didn't have to cheat."

It is indeed a wild ride, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat stuff, and watching this great cast, which also includes Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas, is a rare treat.

A drink was in order, so guests headed over to Sons of Essex for "Haywire" Margaritas and "Covert" Manhattans made with Don Julio tequila, while munching on skirt steak and pork belly sliders.

Gina Gershon, Blake Lively, Elizabeth Banks, Tony Danza and Stefano Tonchi mingled and air-kissed. Someone asked who Aaron Carter was. "He was in Harry Potter," was the answer. I don't think so, dude. Carter is currently performing Off-Broadway in The Fantasticks, and is working on a new album.

Haywire opens January 20. It's a great escape. Go see it.

Photo: Ewan McGregor and Gina Carano at the Cinema Society screening