To prepare for her role as head female protagonist Lady Jaye in the new action-clad blockbuster G.I Joe Retaliation, Adrianne Palicki (TVs Friday Night Lights, Red Dawn) reserved some workout space at the film studio to perfect her fight skills. CLINT MORRIS spoke to the tall, beautiful and seemingly deadly (wait till you see her moves in this movie!) American actress about playing Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s sidekick in the fun film.
I don’t know if you’ve been on the internet today but the creator of ”Veronica Mars” launched a campaign on the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter to get a film version of that particular show going and within 8 hours or something he snared the budget!
Oh my! That is amazing! Remarkable. No, I didn’t hear about this!
And I bring it up because, I know Pete Berg has been toying with the idea of a ”Friday Night Lights” movie for a while, so I was thinking…
I haven’t even seen a script though, so I’ll believe it when I see it. Ha Ha!
Is Berg the kind of filmmaker/producer that likes to collect projects, like an Easter bunny overstuffing his basket with eggs?
Oh, it’s not that, it’s more just he’s got so much going on. He always has heaps happening. I don’t know when he’d find the time. But he has wanted to do a Friday Night Lights movie for a long time now.
Where do you stand on the idea of a film version – because I know some of your co-stars are somewhat opposed to it?
Just personally, I’d love to see it happen because I love all those guys – they’re like a family. I’d love to work with them again. I’d love to reprise Tyra again. At the same time, the last episode of the show was just so perfect, everything ended so beautifully, that I’d hate for anything to be out there that might tarnish that perfect ending, ya know?
There’s enough goals being kicked in your career, regardless of it happening or not. If ”G.I Joe : Retaliation” is anything to go by, you’re the next big action heroine.
Ha Ha. Oh, I could only hope so! I loved doing it, and if given the chance to do another G.I Joe I’d jump at the chance.
I suppose you’ll know within the month whether or not you’ll be doing a sequel..
Oh, we’ll know in a few days, now that we’ve started screening it. We’ll see how people react to it.
I’ve always wondered, what’s it like acting opposite, well… nothing, when you’re doing big CGI/Special effects movies like ”G.I Joe Retaliation”?
You know, I didn’t work a lot with special effects in this movie, if you can believe that!? I think there was only one scene, where we used a little bit, because mostly everything was practical. That made it more exciting and real; we were there in the moment. In fact, I think the only real visual-effects sequence in the movie was the scene in the snowy mountains, with the fight between Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes, and Jinx. I wasn’t in that scene. So mostly everything in this movie happened in-camera. It also made it slightly more dangerous for us, I guess [Laughs] – we’d be right there when the explosions or whatever would go off, and if dared cross the designated safety line they pointed out, we were in trouble.
So insurance companies wouldn’t have been a fan…
Ha Ha. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t be saying this! No, but we were all safe, and surrounded by the best in the business, but doing a lot of the things practically really added something to the movie and those scenes.
I take it you’d have to be in peak physical shape before they’d let you anywhere near the set, anyway?
Yes. Most definitely. I like to think I’m in good health and shape, most of the time, but I think I was truly the fittest I’ve ever been in this movie. We all worked very hard to make sure we were ready for what was going to be involved in doing this film. All the characters have their specific talents, for instance mine is a weapons expert, so I had to make sure I had the gun training down pat. Thankfully, I’d already done Red Dawn and had just come from doing Wonder Woman. Because of those experiences, I was able to focus on the fine-tuned details like how to holster a gun and pull it out correctly so that guys who have been doing this for years won’t watch it and think we’re full of it. But I also had to hit the gym, and also do a lot of boxing and hand-to-hand combat training.
Had you done much hand-to-hand combat training or even martial arts before?
I’d done hand-to-hand combat training for [my TV pilot] Wonder Woman, and in fact I was trained by the same person, which made it easier, so I was comfortable enough with it before I stepped onto the G.I Joe Retaliation set. I also got into boxing a lot for the film. Just generally I had to ‘up’ my schooling in most areas for this film, since it’s a very physical one.
And, of course, you want to look like you can hold your own standing next to Dwayne Johnson, right?
That little guy? He’s puny. He’s got nothing. Ha Ha. No, in all seriousness, that guy is amazing. How can you not be impressed? You want to up your game and also look your best around Dwayne. I tell you, I’d heard stories about how he was ‘the nicest guy in Hollywood’ from others before I started this film, but he really is – he’s just so humble, giving, inspiring and a real pleasure to work with.
Is it a real team atmosphere on set?
Yes, just as it is in the movie for the characters. We spent a lot of time rehearsing and getting to know each other – through training and whatnot – before filming began. We were like a family. We still are like a family.
How was it working with Bruce Willis?
I was really intimidated at first, and a bit scared, because I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, especially knowing our characters would be interacting a lot, but I was still very nervous. But all that went anyway quickly, he was just great – really accommodating, great to work with, and just a wonderful person. He’s a legend. And this is where I say, he the first movie crush I ever had [Laughs] From that moment he was on the plane in Die Hard, I was in love. That made it all the more nervous for me to meet him, of course! Ha Ha
Your last film Red Dawn was delayed for years, so I’m guessing having ”G.I Joe : Retaliation” pushed back from 2012 to 2013 was nothing for you?
Yeah, exactly! Nine months is nothing compared to how long it took Red Dawn to come out! I was 14 when that movie was shot (no, not really). It seemed to take forever for that to come out. In the case of G.I Joe : Retaliation, they were trying to get it out too soon – it had barely been completed when they decided on that original release date; there just wasn’t enough time to get it ready in time. It was good when they pushed it back – giving the film a ‘normal’ post period – because it meant they would have longer to work on it, and make it the best that it could be. And it’s great!
”G.I JOE Retaliation” is out this week