As Disney+ launches, two big stories have emerged—gripes about the interface, and the debut of The Mandalorian. As with any Star Wars franchise, the publicity is built in. But as the galaxy far, far away moves to the small screen it appears set to conquer the new world of streaming content. So far, reviews have been positive, a very good thing for everyone attached, including former MMA fighter Gina Carano.
The former EliteXC mainstay and Strikeforce fighter established herself as more than just a ‘Maxim girl’ with her role in Deadpool, and parlayed that success into her star turn as Cara Dune. According to StarWars.com, “Cara Dune is a seasoned warrior. An intimidating brawler and crack shot, Dune has put her days of military discipline behind her, and has now reinvented herself as a mercenary.” Clearly, Dune is a role custom made for someone with Carano’s grit.
Carano racked up a 12-1-1 Muay Thai record before moving to MMA. While with Strikeforce, Carano was part of a historic fight with Cris Cyborg. The two became the first women to headline a major MMA event in August of 2009. Carano lost the fight and retired soon after to pursue acting roles. She was already performing as “Crush” in the rebooted American Gladiators, and quickly proved herself adept at acting—with parts in Blood and Bone (2009), Haywire (2011), and Fast & Furious 6 (2013).
Now that she finds herself in a main role, Carano’s competitiveness has come to the fore. So much so she found herself “hating” her stunt double. “Oh, is she running? Okay, I’ll run. That’s fine, no, we don’t need her [the stunt double]. I really hated anybody that was in this costume. I didn’t want to share at all.” The show stunt coordinator pointed out that Carano did plenty of her own stunts, and that the other stunt performers were not quite prepared for the power of her kicks.
Competitiveness aside, Carano has been quick to state her gratitude for her newfound place in the Star Wars universe. The top secret casting process did not reveal exactly what she was auditioning for—only after she landed the role did she learn it was for The Mandalorian. In addition to lead Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian features a line-up of Hollywood mainstays as series regulars, including Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Carl Weathers, and Giancarlo Esposito. The first season is now streaming on Disney+, with a second season already in the works.
About the author