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Interview: Zack Snyder & "Sucker Punch" Cast

By Jeff Otto Sunday August 8th 2010 07:36PM
Zack Snyder & "Sucker Punch" Cast

As we start to see more and more of Zack Snyder's imaginative, bizarre "Sucker Punch", we're still not entirely sure what the heck it's about, but we like what we see. Snyder debuted a series of disjointed scenes for the Hall H crowd at Comic-Con last week along with a new trailer.

There were dragons, Nazis, Zeppelin's crashing and, first and foremost, hot girls in lingerie and bondage gear toting machine guns, swords and fists of fury. Again, no clue what's happening, but Quentin Tarantino would certainly approve this male fantasy. "The point of [the footage] was not to tell the story," Snyder tells press. "The movie doesn't come out until March."

The writer/director was on hand at Comic-Con along with producer/wife Deborah Snyder and the lovely ladies of "Sucker Punch" including Carla Gugino, who plays Madam Gorsky; Vanessa Hudgens as Blondie; Jamie Chung as Amber; Jena Malone as Rocket and Emily Browning as Baby Doll.

Gugino is the senior member of the (almost) all-gal cast, who re-teams with Snyder after the intensive experience that was "Watchmen". "Watchmen was such a great experience and Zack and Debbie create this environment. Working together again, we now have this shorthand. With Watchmen we had a very specific bible. This was also a bible, but because the creator of that bible is also the director, there might be something where we can say, 'Maybe let's try this,' so there was a certain exploration that was different because it was less of a pressure."

"Yeah, with Watchmen it was like, 'She said this, so say it.'" says Snyder to laughs from the press. "With this we could play around a lot more and have fun with it."

Gugino portrays her second Polish character in a Snyder movie, the psychiatrist Dr. Gorsky. "In the insane asylum in Zack's 1960's world there's a certain heightened reality to it. The time and place is kind of questionable. In the alternate world, I play the choreographer/madame of the brothel, who is Madam Gorsky. She's a woman who's been through a lot before and is in charge of taking care of these girls. She does it in a very strict, sort of tough love way, but ultimately there is probably no one that could understand it better than her."

Emily Browning portrays the central character, Baby Doll, who serves as the sort of entry way into the wild worlds of the story. "She's the only character who's story you get to see a tiny piece of outside of the asylum," explains Browning. "She comes into the institution and she has very little time to escape. She rallies these girls together and tries to get them to help her escape. It sort of goes into her imagination a lot. Being at the center of those kinds of fantasies is really cool."

Interestingly enough, the raven-haired Vanessa Hudgens plays a character named Blondie. "She's a really fun character," says Hudgens. "She is in this crazy world as well. She starts out as kind of a follower, but it's fun because I feel like in a lot of my sequences she becomes a total badass, which is why it's kind of funny because, like the blonde hair, it's a complete difference."

Best known for her work on Disney's "High School Musical" series, Hudgens hopes the adult role will help shed her musically girlish past. "It was a bit of a challenge for a second because people could only see me as the girl that randomly broke into song and dance. But I heard about this movie and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I auditioned for it several times and I think as long as I put the work in, people will give me the chance."

Jamie Chung portrays Amber, who is the first to come aboard for Baby Doll's elaborate plan. "She's really sweet and extremely loyal to her friends," says Chung. "She's always there for Baby Doll and she wants to keep the group together because all she has is her friends."

Rounding out the institutionalized girls is Jena Malone as Rocket. "Basically Baby Doll comes to this mental institution and she meets these characters that she brings to these alternate realities. I help rally the troops and form a really beautiful bond with Baby Doll. I'm kind of crazy."

Snyder is known for his intensive pre-production training camps, whipping the chiseled soldiers of 300 into ab-tastic shape before production and holding intensive rehearsals on "Watchmen". Snyder didn't let up just because his "Sucker Punch" cast features a bunch of hot ladies. "The idea for me was to give these guys the chance to live like a pro athlete instead of like an actor for a little bit," says Snyder. "They felt like what they were doing was training - go shoot a gun, wake up and do it again. That's kind of a cool way to think about it in the sense that their experiences together in that setting then had an influence on the movie itself when they actually do their scenes."

"In an odd way the three months of training in the stunt gym felt a lot like a mental institution too," says Malone. "You just go in and you do it and you're pushing past this idea of pain and your emotional comfort. You get to a point where you're like crying. But it's amazing because once you get past that point of ritual routine, it gets to this amazing point of exhilaration. You're finding new things inside of you every day. As a woman, I've never been asked to push myself to these extremes. You're finding amazing strengths that you're able to play into the characters and the relationships between all of the characters."

Although reports surfaced earlier in production that "Sucker Punch" would release in 3-D, Snyder said he's decided to go back to the old school 2nd dimension. "After we finished shooting, we talked about it," says Snyder. "We really were considering it, but I really feel like we've seen a bunch of tests and the conversion didn't sit with me that great. Without it being baked in, it just felt a little weird. They showed me a test of 300 that was pretty awesome, but then we just felt like it wasn't right for the movie in the end."

"It's in eye-numbing 2-D, which is also awesome."

"Sucker Punch" releases in theaters nationwide March 25th, 2011.

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