After pulling in the lowest domestic opening weekend of all three movies in the series, attention is still turned to Expendables 3 for featuring Ronda Rousey, UFC bantamweight champion. With a domestic gross of only $16.2 million, Expendables 3 did not do as well as movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy. Despite not doing as well in the box office, Expendables 3 is skyrocketing Rousey’s career as an actress.
With a perfect UFC fighting record, Rousey still stands undefeated as the women’s bantamweight champion. Although MMA is her passion, the California native has turned her attention to starting a new career as an actress. Rousey has already filmed roles for Entourage and Fast and Furious 7, though has recently hired acting coach Warner Loughlin to bring her acting career to the next level.
Rousey plays the role of Luna in the movie, attracting critics across the nation for her performance. The Boston Globe referred to her as “a pumped up Julia Stiles look-alike, unafraid to give Barney some sass.” Although most critics approved of her, Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called her a “terrific fighter, but such a horrible actress.”
Aside from Roeper’s disappointment, Rousey is still grateful for her role in Expendables 3, crediting writer and director, Sylvester Stallone, for being cast in the movie. She states that if it was not for Stallone, “fans might have been watching some one else up there on the screen,” adding “it has been my mission in life to prove him right.” In a recent interview, Rousey talks about her “debt” to Stallone, saying that he fought to find room for her when other, more famous Hollywood stars wanted the part.
Despite the fact that Rousey has been receiving plenty of positive attention for her role in Expendables 3, perhaps the third movie of the much-loved series could have done better if it had not been leaked over the Internet before its release. Luckily for the UFC bantamweight champion, fans still adored her performance, proving Stallone knew what he was doing when he decided to cast her as Luna.
Although she was the first, and is the current, UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Rousey also has a background in gymnastics and judo. She won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics, as well as back-to-back gold medals in the Pan American championships for judo. Since her professional career with UFC in MMA, Rousey has had a reputation for being a tough woman who defeats her opponents in a very short amount of time.
Rousey has always been a fan of Stallone, claiming herself to be a Rocky girl. “All fighters love the Rocky movies, it’s a common language for us.” she said, also adding that the original Rocky was her favorite movie, “just because it’s that great.” Although the original Rocky was her favorite, she also loved Rocky IV, Rocky in Russia. Rousey finds a connection with Rocky IV, claiming she had her very own Rocky moment in the beginning of her career as a judo fighter when many Americans were not popular in the sport.
Although the bantamweight champion was grateful for her role in Expendables 3 she still got nervous while watching herself in the film. According to Yahoo News she watched the movie while covering her face with her hands the first time around. Despite having the ability to pick out the mistakes she makes in fights, it is harder for her to critique herself when it comes to acting. “I know I have a lot to learn and a lot to improve on,” she stated in a recent interview adding “It’s hard for me to be as good of a critic of myself in a movie as I am in fighting.”
Expendables 3 is just the beginning of Rousey’s acting career. She currently has a book being adapted into a movie featuring her called The Athena Project. Although she is starting her acting career off on the right foot, the UFC bantamweight champion is still defending her UFC title. Rousey won her most recent fight against Alexis Davis last July, about one month before the release of Expendables 3.
By Monica de Lartigue