Of all the actors in the new "Total Recall," Kate Beckinsale is the one with the most butt-kicking experience... Though you wouldn’t know it from the composed, perfectly-coiffed woman who walks in the door to chat with journalists. Beckinsale - and I say this as a guy who has interviewed a lot of actresses, and hasn’t had a particular crush on Beckinsale before - is stunning to look at.
But, once she starts talking, you realize she’s also very funny, incredibly smart, and when it comes to doing her own stunts, self-deprecating as well: “It doesn’t feel as cool as it looks,” says Beckinsale with a laugh. “It feels like you’re trying to keep up with a dance you don’t know the steps to.” So basically, worst person ever.
“Everyone around me is acting like I’m a bad-ass, and this still feels like a stretch,” continues Beckinsale modestly, raising our anger level even further. “I get people to help me, incredible teachers, and it’s amazing... I’m more comfortable in a drama, this still gets me very scared,” said the lady who has worn skin tight leather to fight vampires and werewolves, and now kicks Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel’s butt single-handedly in an elevator.
And yes, in case you were wondering, she does all her own stunts... Just that may not be her choice: “Len [Wiseman] likes to do that,” said Beckinsale. “He likes to see actor’s faces, so you know it’s them doing that.”
This doesn’t necessarily extend to how Beckinsale - and Wiseman, who she’s married to - operate at home, as Beckinsale clarified when asked whether their daughter was impressed by her. “You don’t necessarily want people coming home catching their mother dropping out of the ceiling, landing in a crouch,” joked Beckinsale. “I think she’s kind of amused, and it is fun for her to come and hang out at our workplace, in a way it would not be if I was an IT Programmer. I don’t know much about IT, but I feel like there are fewer explosions.”
As Beckinsale was moving closer into Dream Girl territory, we decided to push the boundaries as far as we could, and asked if - like Wiseman - she was a big science fiction fan as a child. “I had four brothers growing up,” said Beckinsale as little hearts flew out of our eyeballs. “I was definitely exposed to those movies... For me, I love that I get to play these strong female characters, and people show up for that.”
We followed up by asking whether there was a piece of future-tech Beckinsale was particularly drawn to from "Total Recall," as pictures of running hand-in-hand, skipping through the Apple Store danced in our heads. “I quite fancy having a hovercar, but I don’t fancy everyone having one,” said Beckinsale. “I spent a bit of time on the 405, stuck. If everybody had them, I’d be scared of crashing; but if it was just me, I think I’d drive quite fast.”
Getting back to the science fiction movies we would watch together on our first date - I MEAN SHE WATCHED WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER - Beckinsale noted she was a huge fan of the "Alien" movies, and, “A huge fan of the 'Die Hard' films, until it ate my husband for two years,” joked Beckinsale. We think.
Next, we asked Beckinsale how it felt to be working on practical sets for the stunts, as most movies these days will just insert an actor’s head into a really cool background, and call it a day. “It’s Len’s obsession with practical, it was the same thing for Underworld,” said Beckinsale. “I’ve never really had that experience I hear of people having, where you’re on a soundstage, on green screen, talking to a tennis ball on a stick. I find it amazingly impressive they can do that, because I’ve been very lucky... I’ve never been fighting a pretend werewolf, I’ve always been fighting some poor, sweating guy in a werewolf suit, dying of thirst.”
Talking about the mag-lev cars from the movie, Beckinsale noted that this was one area where all-CGI might have been preferred. “The hovercars were terrifying!” she continued. “I managed to make it even more terrifying by having food poisoning that day as well. Hovercars you can’t get out of very easily, or very fast, which was a risk for me.”
But before you think Beckinsale is the ultimate geek dream girl, there are still some tech obstacles she has to face. Asked further about the tech in the movie, she pulled out her basic clamshell phone, and noted this was the only piece of tech she owns... And it's only to make phone calls. "I don't understand the iPhone," said Beckinsale. "You try to pick up an iPhone, it turns over, you can't see what's happening!"
Sorry, Beckinsale, but disliking Apple Products is a deal breaker for us. We hope you're happy with your dreamy husband and successful career. Sob.
"Total Recall" opens Friday, August 3rd in theaters everywhere. Check out the trailer below:
Full Disclosure: Travel and accommodations for this story were paid for by Sony Pictures, which produced Total Recall. Photo ©2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.