Over the last few years, Samara Weaving has been involved in some pretty special TV and movie projects. From her turn as Grace in Ready or Not to playing Claire on Netflix’s Hollywood, you’ve probably crossed paths with her undeniable charm and strong female characters.
To celebrate Samara’s new movie, Snake Eyes, Samara sat down with us to chat about everything — like what it was like doing stunts in Snake Eyes, being starstruck by Steve Carrel, which roles she’s auditioned for (but didn’t get), and more. Here’s everything we learned:
1. First, is there a movie or TV show that made you want to become an actor?
[laughing] There was a small film…don’t know if you’ve heard of it…it was called…Pirates of the Caribbean. It blew my socks off. I think I was 11 or 12 years old and I just wanted to be a part of whatever just happened to me in that theater. I was transported to another world and I wanted to be part of it so bad.
BuzzFeed: The first Pirates of the Caribbean film is easily one of my favorite movies of all time.
YES! YES! The first one is the BEST. I love Pirates of Caribbean.
2. What’s a role people would be surprised to find out you auditioned for but didn’t get?
I’ve probably auditioned for every film that exists where there’s a woman my age. You could just pick a movie and I’ve probably auditioned for it. Like, The Crown and, I think, Black Widow.
3. Who was your favorite complex female character — from either a movie, TV show, or book — growing up?
I think Hermione Granger was my favorite character growing up. She wasn’t necessarily popular, but she was smart and cool. She didn’t adhere to social rules and norms. Also, reading Little Women, that kind of blew my mind in terms of strong women. I loved that I could relate to all the March women. Like there was something so sweet and intense about Beth, but I had my Amy moments, and I wanted to be Jo, obviously.
4. Who have you been the most starstruck by?
Steve Carell. We were at the Golden Globes and I saw him. I don’t know what happened to me. I let out an audible…something, like a scream. I was acting like I knew him and my brain malfunctioned. He was so gracious and so nice. I don’t even know what else happened. I blacked out and melted into myself. I love The Office, both the British and the American version. I was a little anti the American version for so long. Then I watched it and was like, “What have I been missing this whole time?” It’s amazing.
5. Do you ever listen to music to get into character?
I do. I have quick little playlists for my characters.
BuzzFeed: What was on your playlist for Scarlett from Snake Eyes?
I put a lot of rock on there. Just really cool badass music that would get me pumped.
6. How did you get involved with Snake Eyes?
I auditioned two years ago now. We filmed it all before the pandemic, so it’s a really long time ago now. I auditioned for it, and pretty soon after that they called me. It was very exciting because who doesn’t want to play a comic book character?
BuzzFeed: Did you know much about the G.I. Joe world beforehand?
I mean, I knew of G.I Joe because, like, when you think of America I feel like it’s G.I. Joe and apple pie [laughing]. But I didn’t really have a deep knowledge of it besides the basic understanding. I didn’t grow up with the comic books or the toys or anything. So it was a learning experience for me, and learning about Scarlett was really fun.
7. What’s your favorite behind-the-scenes memory from filming Snake Eyes?
Most of my scenes are with Úrsula [Corberó] and we just would not stop laughing. We’d laugh at the most inappropriate times as well. It would be a very serious scene and she would do something off camera or I would try and get her back. We kind of had this back and forth of making each other laugh. It was really funny.
Also, we were the only two that really had these superhero suits. They are quite impractical, even though they look awesome. Louise [Mingenbach, the costume designer] did an incredible job building them, but you kind of can’t really move in them very well. So Úrsula and I would just be walking around set looking like statues and toppling each other over. I’ve got some good videos of us just trying to sit down in chairs. It was a good time.
8. What was the stunt training process like for Snake Eyes?
The training was awesome. I did a lot of my own training before. So, they were filming in Vancouver for a while and then went to Japan. I went for two months kind of at the tail end of the shoot. So before that, I wanted to try and get as tough as possible. So I worked with a personal trainer, Dan Adair, who got me into really good shape. I’ve never been that buff before.
Then, when I got to set, it was pretty intense stunt training and choreographing the fight sequences. I had a terrific stunt double, Jackie Geurts, who made me look very, very cool. It was such a blast. It was so fun.
9. Do you have a Scarlett moment from Snake Eyes that you’re most proud of, whether it’s a stunt or anything like that?
The stunts that I did were always something I was proud of. We actually did some extra shots in LA during the pandemic. They changed a couple things around and there was a really cool fight scene in the bathroom that they whipped up really fast. We spent the whole day, like 10 hours, filming it. That was really cool.
BuzzFeed: Did it take a while to get the hang of the fight choreography for some of those big action sequences?
Yeah! Luckily I had a lot of time because I was [in Japan] for two months, but I really only shot for like…I think it was two or three weeks on and off. So I had a long time to prepare for the fights and work on them. It was very rare for me that I’d have to do the entire fight from start to finish in one go. I’m sure others did it and it was very impressive, but with coverage, it was a lot of stopping and starting. For a lot of the other cast members, I don’t know how they did it because they would be fighting every day for 14 hours, and then having to do it over again. They must have been so sore. I would do one or two days in a row and I was dying. I can’t imagine doing more.