“It was really frightening”: Kate Beckinsale Was Terrified Before Accepting ‘Underworld’ That Changed Her Career

Kate Beckinsale had been feeling trapped playing similar roles and realized that Selene would save her from being typecast

Kate Beckinsale Was Terrified Before Accepting ‘Underworld’ That Changed Her Career


  • Kate Beckinsale was hesitant before taking on the role of Selene in Underworld
  • The actress had only played soft characters before and she started feeling trapped playing similar characters
  • Despite being unsure, she took on the role and it changed her career trajectory completely
Show More
Featured Video

Two decades ago, Kate Beckinsale took on a role in Underworld that ultimately transformed her life and made her a big movie star. But before accepting the part, she was worried, unaware of what the future held. The daunting tasks required for the film terrified her, yet little did she know, it would mark a significant turning point in her Hollywood career.

Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing
Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing. Source: Universal Pictures

Also Read: “I would definitely do that”: Kate Beckinsale Was Devastated After Marvel Didn’t Allow Wesley Snipe’s Blade to Have a Crossover With Her $542M Vampire Franchise

Underworld Made Kate Beckinsale Rethink Her Whole Career

Even after two decades since the release of 2003’s Underworld, the character of vampiress Selene remains one of Kate Beckinsale‘s most iconic roles. Beckinsale’s journey to action stardom, however, was far from effortless or easy, to say the least. In a 2016 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the now 50-year-old British actress revealed that she almost lost hope, doing the exact same character in different fonts, as the internet says. She said,


“I’d be in America for a while and occasionally going up for parts [like] a cop or somebody tougher, and people would be like, ‘Oh, but she’s sort of Jane Austen-y and she’s very period, and a bit fragile,”

Kate Beckinsale as Selene
Kate Beckinsale as Selene

The sudden arrival of this movie made her realize things are going to change and would help her to shatter her soft public perception as she stated,

“And then suddenly I got sent this script and I also thought, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I could do that. I’ve never even thought about being that sort of person.’”

This movie significantly changed the trajectory of her career and shaped the actor she has become today.

Also Read: “My b**bs weren’t bigger than my head”: Kate Beckinsale Slammed Michael Bay’s Disparaging Comments After Director Cast Her in $450M Ben Affleck Movie for a Strange Reason


Kate Beckinsale Was Terrified Before Accepting Underworld

Portraying Selene in the action-thriller on screen, demanded her be a fearless vampire assassin. For this role, extensive training was necessary, which posed a challenge given her admission that she wasn’t particularly athletic. In the same Yahoo interview, she stated,

“It was really frightening because I had never fired a gun before. I ran like a girl. I mean, it was a disaster. I really had to be mentored into that.–I remember the stuntmen being super horrified. [They’d say], ‘Throw a few punches.’–“They were like, ‘Oh my god. This is gonna take a minute.’”

Kate Beckinsale as Selene
Kate Beckinsale as Selene

In the end, everything fell into place for Beckinsale, as the actress successfully portrayed the character, and embodied the very spirit the role demanded. Underworld then emerged as an undefeated hit, raking in $95 million globally against its mere modest $21 million budget. Fans wholeheartedly embraced the movie, and from that moment on, there was no turning back for her.

Underworld is available on Apple TV for rent.


Also Read: “I want p—sy on the red carpet”: Harvey Weinstein Shamed Kate Beckinsale for Dressing Like a Lesbian in Event Just Days After Horrific 9/11 Tragedy 


Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 803

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.