If you’re a fan of Netflix then you probably know Carla Gugino from such shows as The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. She killed it then, making these unique characters her own, and she’s now killed it in her all new movie Gunpowder Milkshake, starring herself, Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, and so many other talent actors.
We got a chance to speak with Carla Gugino about her time on Gunpowder Milkshake, how it was working with so many talented women, and what she hopes people take away from this action packed movie. We also got an opportunity to talk to her about that epic battle with the tomahawk and what Michelle Yeoh’s character said to her right before it. So, dive in, enjoy, and let us know what you thought of her character!
Fangirlish: How was it working with so many talented and badass women in Gunpowder Milkshake?
Carla Gugino: You know, it was extraordinary experience. It was…what’s so cool is that when you have that many women together in one space, who’ve been doing this as long as we’ve all been doing this, and who love what they do, it was immediately easeful. We were immediately all on the same page. It was…there was sort of no egos involved. There was a lot of fun to be had. And yet the work was taken seriously.
Male or female aside, you just never know if work ethics will be in line or if the way that people like to be on set, any of those things. We’re all such individuals and who knows. But this was immediately really easeful and playful and exciting. Also, we came into it while being big appreciators of each other’s work. And none of us had actually worked together before.
So, it’s rare for me having been acting the majority of my life, to come to a set where I haven’t actually filmed with any of these people. And yet, we felt like we had know each other. Plus, I’ve been fans of their work for a long time. So it was really easeful.
Fangirlish: Your character had a battle with a tomahawk and it looked amazing. How much training did you have to do? Did you do your own stunts?
Carla Gugino: I would say that I ended up doing about 95% of that. We might not even have had to…I had a wonderful stunt person by the way. But we might not have had to use any of it. Or if it was, it was one shot. But mostly I did it. And that was also thanks to Laurent Demianoff and Sébastien Peres who were our stunt coordinators and were phenomenal, who also did Lucy amongst a bunch of other movies.
It was about 2 weeks of intense training before shooting it. So it was pretty quick. It was also…I’ve done a lot of stunts in things like San Andreas and different films where I’ve been very physical and very active. But in terms of an actual full out action sequence, especially one where you’re using a tomahawk just in one hand, that was for sure new for me.
I think I’m a good student and I always want to please. So I always work my ass off to get it right but at the same time I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off so I was glad we were able to. And I got to work with such a wonderful actor too. We had really sort of decided that at that moment in the movie, when we have a moment where things slow down, and there’s an intense interaction between these two people. Very key moment in the movie.
And almost every move was also like a word in a conversation of what we were telling each other. And that was a really interesting way to come at it.
Fangirlish: I wanted to ask or if you could share what Florence whispered into Madeleine’s ear? Was it meant to be left up to interpretation?
Carla Gugino: Yes, Navot the director wanted it to definitely be left up to interpretation. Michelle whispered many amazing things to me. So, I know what she said. But yes, it’s meant to be. I think, Florence and so is Michelle, is such a zen warrior in a lot of ways. I think it was really important to him that there be this moment of connection that is left up to mystery but that we know the tables are turning at that moment in the movie.
Fangirlish: At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from this movie?
Carla Gugino: I think there’s certainly a sense of escapism in this movie. And I think that when I first started going to movies, the first movie when I was 5 years old, it was really truly the first magic trick I ever experienced because I forgot who I was, where I was, and I fell into this world and then came out and went, “Oh my gosh.”
I’ve gotten to see a world that I would’ve never known in my own life. And I want to be part of making that kind of magic. I think that was really galvanizing for me to want to act. And so, for me right now, especially coming out of this chapter that we’ve all lived through and this sort of harrowing and challenging time in our world, I think there’s something to be said to just having fun and having a heightened reality.
I think in addition to that, I certainly didn’t grow up with women in action movies. It’s a much more iconic male world. And so it’s really great for young girls just to see badass ladies, you know? And I think another theme of this movie that’s very important is that we’re born into our family and we also build a family. A family that isn’t blood but that can be as rich. And so all these women are all stronger together and I think that that certainly is a theme in this movie.