After all, the 38-year-old actress has battled plenty of werewolves, vampires, and jacked-up dudes in a slew of action movies during her career. But in August’s highly anticipated Total Recall–an adaptation of the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic in which Kate plays Lori, a devious character who knows how to handle herself in a fistfight–Kate kicks an entirely new kind of butt: a chick’s. And it happens to belong to Jessica Biel.
“It’s not like a naked, porno, mud-wrestling-in-a-bar sort of fight–it’s a real fight,” says Kate, disappointing untold numbers of male fans.
“Though I did find that fighting a woman was very different from when I’ve fought men. There was a lot of ‘I didn’t hurt you, did I? Ooh, I’m sorry about that! No, it was my fault!’”
Kate says that even now, family and friends are amused that she’s in the business of beating up anyone: Her acting roots are in drama (her breakout role: 1993′s Shakespearean Much Ado About Nothing), she has won prestigious awards for her poetry and fiction writing, and she attended college at the University of Oxford.
Not to mention that, growing up, she avoided gym class whenever possible. “I wasn’t particularly athletic. No one ever thought, ‘I must have Kate on my team,’” she admits. Kate never even worked out until she had to get in shape for a bikini scene in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor. “To me, you only went to the gym if you were really weird and obsessive. No one I knew in London at the time ever did it.”
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