Written and directed by Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves), Gunpowder Milkshake hit Netflix US, Canada and Nordics, on July 14, and is set for an international theatrical release this summer.
We spoke with Carla Gugino aka Madeleine, one of the three Librarians. Madeleine’s favorite weapon? A tomahawk! Carla Gugino’s training was very intense, and she declared: ‘’I don’t wanna sugar coat it, hand to hand combat with a tomahawk is not for the meek.’’
Check out the full interview below!
Full Carla Gugino Gunpowder Milkshake Interview
What was your reaction when you read the script, and what made you say “yes” to this story?
Carla Gugino: For me, it’s always instinctual. Sometimes it’s the character, sometimes it’s the world created in the script. In this case, I was intrigued by this hyperreal fairytale-like environment where the story exists. Plus I love libraries. I think they’re very cinematic.
Can you explain who Madeleine is?
Carla Gugino: Madeleine is an assassin who really enjoys a good book. Not just Agatha Christie but also Patricia Highsmith, Daphne Du Maurier, and a bunch of other cool female writers. For her, books are humanity’s saving grace. It’s the way we gain empathy for others, which is something she needs to remind herself of given her chosen profession. Books also contain the wisdom that she can share with children because she has a maternal side — maybe more like an “eccentric aunt” side. Which comes in handy with Emily.
What is your favorite part about being Madeleine, and do you feel close to her?
Carla Gugino: I love the outfit, the Anna Karina hair, the glasses. She’s very precise, she knows what she wants. I feel very close to her because she reads all the books I want to read but rarely have time to.
Gunpowder Milkshake is an action movie, it’s fun and super cool, but most of all, it’s about a group of super-strong, powerful, and badass women, which is what we love and want to see more and more on-screen. What was the atmosphere like on set? Did you all feel as close and as “invincible” as your characters from the movie? Was it a “Girl-Power” experience for all of you as actresses as well?
Carla Gugino: Casting is an alchemical thing and sometimes you are put together with groups of people that you immediately bond with so I don’t know that the reason we all immediately felt comfortable with each other was some version of “girl power”, but it was definitely pretty damn quick from “hi nice to meet you” to having long hilarious dinners where you’re laughing so hard the Prosecco is coming out of your nose.
How did you prepare for this role? Did you have to do stunt training?
Carla Gugino: Lots of very intense stunt training in a short period of time. Laurent and Sebastian are great stunt coordinators and they ran a super well-curated ship. I don’t wanna sugarcoat it, hand to hand combat with a tomahawk is not for the meek.
All the characters are so unique, strong, and powerful, they have their very own story. Did you feel like you had enough room to grow as a character? For example, is there a particular aspect of Madeleine that you talked about with Navot Papushado, and that you’ve been able to create?
Carla Gugino: A movie like Gunpowder has such forward momentum because of all the action that you are a bit like a jazz musician finding little pockets to play notes in the midst of the mayhem. You throw in bits of character that enrichen the narrative even though it can’t afford to slow down. So yes, Navot and I talked about Madeleine’s sensitivity towards Emily and how she tries to keep her safe from the mayhem. These were elements that we calibrated to make sure they struck the right balance between absurd and moving.
Which other character from the movie would you have liked to portray and why?
Carla Gugino: Probably Paul Giamatti’s character but only so I could try and say the lines exactly like him.
What’s your favorite memory from filming this movie?
Carla Gugino: Having hilarious dinners with my castmates, goofing around in the hotel.
What would you say was the most intense, complicated scene or aspect of your character?
Carla Gugino: Hm. I can’t quite say that because some people haven’t seen the movie yet.
Your wish for Gunpowder Milkshake 2?
Carla Gugino: Let’s see. A choreographed dancing scene with all the women? And maybe a scene where the librarians read each other their favorite poems. And Scarlet and Madeleine find out they share the same favorite poem. During shooting practice. And then they all make a cake together.