Audiences have been anticipating Zack Snyder’s multilateral fantasy-action extravaganza Sucker Punch for months, if not years, and this weekend the visual spectacle finally sweeps into theaters (read our official review HERE). With the creation of the Sucker Punch, the filmmakers intended to construct a reality inhabited by sexy, vulnerable, dimensional women-warriors; a place where the possibilities for action are boundless.
In order to achieve said goal, Snyder assembled a cast of beautiful up-and-coming young actresses, and then put them through months of brutally rigorous training in preparation for the elaborate production. This past weekend we had the opportunity to speak with the ladies of Sucker Punch – Emily Browning (Baby Doll), Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea), Jena Malone (Rocket), Jamie Chung (Amber) and Vanessa Hudgens (Blondie), about their experiences making an action film that called for them to dance, sing and fight.
The five actresses trained to fight and function both as individuals and as moving parts of a unified whole. That style reflects their characters in the film, as well as their real-world experience of making the movie. In the Sucker Punch universe, each of the girls represents a separate aspect or characteristic of one, whole, woman. The characteristics depicted may be loyalty, strength, compassion or even fear. Additionally, they each signify a singled-out embodiment of an iconic feminine archetype – a nurse, a schoolgirl, a teacher and so on.
In the world of the production, the bonds created between the actresses were fiercer than what they had experienced working on other projects. Understandable, given the unique and intensive nature of the process. As Abbie Cornish says “when you’re thrown into the deep end together,” the friendships develop quickly.
The girls went through three months of training with wires, stunt men, navy seals, martial arts experts, and fight coordinators, in order to to prepare for the film. As producer Deborah Snyder told us, “We started training them in April and we didn’t roll film until September 17th.” It was five days a week of pure, rigid, exhaustive physical training. As D. Snyder claims:
“In fact, Zack didn’t start talking to them about the lines in the script until August. So what they did, was they did the physical training – they had to transform their bodies. They each had their own stunt double but they did ninety percent of the stunts themselves – only when it was really dangerous did we replace them, and they were mad about it.”
Zack Snyder concurred, saying, “I mean those girls are animals, no two ways about it. And I mean that in the best possible way.”
When asked who had a tougher time of it – the men of 300 or the ladies of Sucker Punch – Mrs. Snyder laughingly replied “I think the men of “300” were bigger babies – I got a lot more complaints from them.”
These women seemed to embrace the challenge as an opportunity to experience versions of themselves that they had perhaps never dreamed possible. “I mean I don’t think anyone would have assumed I could do action before this film,” said Emily Browning (Baby Doll) “but as Abby (Cornish) says, Zack had so much faith in his team, and they did a great job of turning us into little warriors.”