Steven Soderbergh’s having kind of a crap week, what with disappointing numbers for his latest action flick, Haywire, and the news that Annapurna Pictures backed out of one of his next projects, Side Effects. But we feel more sorry for Blake Lively, as some industry sources are speculating that backers aren’t so sure she can handle the role of a young woman caught in a love triangle with her doctor (Jude Law) and her paroled husband (Channing Tatum). It sounds like a heavy step up from Gossip Girl and Green Lantern, but it wouldn’t be the first time Soderbergh has managed to make a movie star into a serious actress. (One of those actresses, Catherine Zeta-Jones, has signed on for another role in Side Effects, giving ol’ Steven a vote of confidence.) Then again, he’s also had a few misses in that category too. Let’s take a look at what the critics have said about five of his leading ladies’ performances:
1. Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight: “At the center of the film is the repartee between Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, and these two have the kind of unforced fun in their scenes together that reminds you of Bogart and Bacall. There’s a seduction scene in which the dialogue is intercut with the very gradual progress of the physical action, and it’s the dialogue that we want to linger on.” — Roger Ebert
“Lopez, for all her Latina-siren voluptuousness, has always projected a contained coolness, and this is the first movie in which it fully works for her. As Sisco is lured into a romance with Foley, you can see her resolve melt in spite of itself.” — Entertainment Weekly
To be honest, when we put Ewan McGregor up against Michael Fassbender for this week’s Hotness poll, we worried that Ewan might get crushed. Not that we dispute the Scottish actor’s hotness in the least, mind you. But Fassbender has all that buzz. And oh, yeah, all that full-frontal nudity, which inspired George Clooney to joke at the Golden Globes that he can play golf with his hands behind his back. Aaaanyway, Ewan certainly has the advantage of years of gathering devoted fans. Particularly a couple of them who live in the Ukraine and have apparently been hitting refresh nonstop for days. Well, give you clicking fingers a break, my friends, and watch both actors brutalized by Gina Carano in Haywire this weekend. Right after you celebrate your victory by looking at Ewan’s smiling face. Congrats!
Related: Haywire Star Gina Carano’s 20 Hottest And Most Badass Looks
Some of us are just getting to know Gina Carano, as she makes her movie debut in Steven Soderberg’s Haywire, in theaters today. In the movie, she plays Mallory Kane, a private security contractor whose boss/lover turns on her. And naturally, to survive and exact revenge, she winds up kicking the ass of some rather delicious foes: Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and Channing Tatum. She also happens to have done all of her own stunts. (At post-screening Q&A for the movie we attended back in December, she said she loves bruises and had to talk the stunt guys into hitting her for real.) Because before becoming an actress, she was a professional badass.
The Muay Thai kickboxer was one of the hottest MMA fighters in the biz before going on hiatus in 2009. (Here’s a little highlights video put together by a fan.) She was also #16 on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2009 and appeared as Crush on American Gladiators.
After seeing her defy the laws of physics in Haywire, we’re very eager for her to get back in the ring. Then again, it would be a loss to moviegoers if she didn’t stay in the acting game — despite the admission by Soderberg that he altered her voice for the flick; she doesn’t really talk all that much in the movie anyway. But we love seeing a female action hero with real muscle and fire in her eyes. Check out our 20 favorite pics of the lovely and deadly Gina below.
[Photos: Relativity Media]
Michael Fassbender and Ewan McGregor: Both incredibly sexy men from across the pond, both very talented, both can wear the hell out of a scarf, both get their asses absolutely BEAT DOWN by Gina Carano in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, in theaters this Friday. Sorry, that was a tiny bit of a spoiler, except you know they wouldn’t cast an MMA fighter in a movie and have her sit in the drawing room sipping tea. More on Gina later this week. In the meantime, we would like to force you to choose between Fassbender — the 34-year-old Irish German who’s starred in just about every movie of 2011, from Jane Eyre to X-Men: First Class to Shame, where he got very naked — and McGregor, the 40-year-old Scot who weirdly won our hearts back when he played a heroine addict in Trainspotting and hasn’t lost them since. (We’re trying very hard to forget about his less-than-hot turn in those Star Wars prequels.) Who’s it gonna be, my friends? Peruse the gallery below and then vote. Poll closes at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.
[Photos: Relativity Media]