Technology with attitude

Axelle Carolyn: A New Kind of Action Star

Axelle Carolyn in CENTURION, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing
Axelle Carolyn in CENTURION, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing

Most women in action movies these days fall into two categories. They either scream like a girl – an insanely annoying  girl – when a gun gets put in their hands (picture Cameron Diaz in Knight & Day or Katherine Heigl in Killers) or they act like a guy in an action movie, a guy who knows more about posing so he looks cool than he does about actually fighting or firing a gun.

Axelle Carolyn wants to change all that.

In her new movie, Centurion, she plays Aeron, a Second Century Pict (Scottish) warrior using any means necessary to kill the Roman soldiers who have invaded her country and drive them back to where they came from.

“It took a lot to prepare for the film. There was fight training and stunt training and horseback riding lessons, but for me the most important thing was just getting in shape so I would be able to survive the whole thing,” she said. “I was there (on the set) every day, all day, for 6 weeks and most of it was on a horse doing something really physical. We shot on a mountain, so the altitude was high and it was extremely cold. It was hard to breathe, let alone fight.”

Whatever hardships she faced on location, Carolyn channeled into her performance as the vicious warrior, a woman who struts through the gore of the battlefield like a supermodel walking down the catwalk at a fashion shoot.

“People talk so much crap, especially on the internet, about women fighting in action movies. The Romans are well trained and well armed. Why run away from me on the battlefield?” she said. “I made sure in every scene that the Romans – and the audience — knew I was someone they should be scared of. Even though I’m a girl and I may not look particularly strong, the appearance of my character and her behavior was to show that she could fight anyone who stood in her way. Her whole attitude was, “I know what I’m doing and I know where to hit you to either bring you down of kill you. And if you take my hatchet or bow I’m going to bite you.”

Centurion opens in limited release on Friday, Aug. 27.