Packed with curious onlookers, the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was buzzing like a prize fight, one year after Mark Wahlberg debuted “The Fighter” in the same Secret slot.
Starring MMA fighter Gina Carano, who makes her bigscreen debut, “Haywire” tells the story of a Jason Bourne-like operative stuck in the middle of a Government mission gone bad. Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Michael Douglas co-star.
“This is all so overwhelming, I don’t know what to say,” Carano blushed at a post-screening Q&A, hosted by “Community” star Joel McHale.
Also on hand to discuss the pic were Soderbergh, McGregor, and recent globe trotter Michael Fassbender.
“Ewan and I told each other ‘Run!’” Fassbender said, referring to his fight scenes with the burly Carano.
Soderbergh, meanwhile, isn’t a stranger to inserting newcomers into his pics. In 2009, he tapped porn star Sasha Grey to star in the low-budget escort film “The Girlfriend Experience.”
“After getting fired from a project (“Moneyball”), I felt like I had to do something different,” Soderbergh said, recalling how he saw Carano fight on CBS’ Saturday Night Fights, before picking up the phone and contacting her reps.
Soderbergh compared the decision to cast Carano to Steven Segal’s emergence (out of nowhere) in the 1980s.
“I mean–why is Angelina the only woman allowed to run around with a gun and beat people up?”
Follow Stuart Oldham on Twitter