Zack Snyder Calls His SUCKER PUNCH Stars 'Animals'

As first time action heroes, Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Jamie Chung performed ninety-percent of their stunts in SUCKER PUNCH but when it came for the stunt double to take over a risky stunt, the women were upset, according to producer and Zack Snyder's wife Deborah Snyder.  "They were really mad when that happened. They wanted to do their own stunts," revealed the SUCKER PUNCH producer.  Zack Snyder added, "Those girls were animals.  And I mean that in the best possible way."

The girls of SUCKER PUNCHIn the epic action fantasy, SUCKER PUNCH takes you in the imagination of a young girl (Browning) whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality in a mental asylum.  To play roles of Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Barbie, and Amber, the actresses needed to transform into warriors.  The SUCKER PUNCH director started them off with a grueling physical schedule that included a 500 meter sprint on a rowing machine.  Vanessa Hudgens who plays Barbie, called the rowing machine the most difficult of the exercises.  "You're just hauling ass.  Killing yourself," said the former High School Musical star.  "Going as hard as you can to get to this 500 meters.  I remember by then, my stomach was queasy.  I felt like I was going to throw up."  However, Vanessa says she got into the "best shape" of her life and got paid to do so.  Her co-star Emily Browning also found her training challenging but she admits, "I've also never had so much fun."  Jena Malone used will power to soldier through the tough days including the most difficult day when she was filling under the weather and had to go up against zombie soldiers.

After obtaining the physical strength, the SUCKER PUNCH stars studied martial arts and weapons training with multiple types of guns and swords. Abbie Cornish didn't just see herself as an actress after the rigorous training.  "We were almost like stunt women for awhile. I kinda liked losing myself in it and the routine," said the Limitless actress.  Regarding her martial arts training, Abbie described it as "meditative work" that not only transformed her body but mind as well.  She admits she became very fond of her shot gun and the smell of gun powder.  Emily Browning shares the sentiment regarding the Lewis gun she used in one of her action sequences.  "It would spray me with gun powder which I found weirdly satisfying."  Both confessed to missing the smell and the power of a gun in their hands.  In her first role as an action heroine, Vanessa lived out what she calles "every actor's dream."  She added, "not only to be able to some dramatic things but to transform your body and use it as an art. "    

Aside from the physical and weapons training sessions, the cast of SUCKER PUNCH took lessons in dancing and singing for a musical number in the film featuring a cover of Bryan Ferry's Love Is A Drug.  Jamie Chung (Dragonball Evolution) found it complicated switching gears on set.   "It was about being graceful.  It was very challenging to go from being tough and kick-ass to doing a dance scene."  Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, Into the Wild) aced the action scenes but her dance number left her black and blue.  Her musical number as a Zombie nurse called for a poll dance on a syringe shaped poll but the numerous takes took a toll on her body with multiple bruises. After the blood and sweet of shooting the musical number, the scene was cut from the theatrical version but Zack Snyder promised to include the number in it's proper place in the Director's Cut on the DVD version.  Regardless, Jena Malone and Emily Browning called the whole experience "rewarding."  

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Zack Snyder is known for putting his actors through the ringer when it comes to getting into shape and sculpting abs as in 300 starring Gerard Butler but who had the tougher regiment?  According to Deborah Snyder, the women of SUCKER PUNCH pulled through without a wimper unlike the cast of 300. "The men of 300 were bigger babies.  I got a lot more complaints from them," she said.  Zack concurred with his partner, "That might be true."

Now that's girl power.

SUCKER PUNCH is in movie theaters March 25, 2011.

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