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Jefferson Root Written by Jefferson Root
Nov. 7, 2011 | 10:24 AM

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Soderbergh and Cast On Hand for AFI Fest World Premiere of HAYWIRE

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After an introduction by AFI president Bob Gazzale, director Steven Soderbergh took the podium to introduce the world premiere of his new film, HAYWIRE.  With perfect deadpan timing, Soderbergh suggested that anyone who wanted to capture the movie off of the screen should “probably hit record now”, and then urged the sold out audience to stick around afterwards to discuss the film with “a few friends.”

The film that followed represents another chapter in Soderbergh’s endlessly inventive and eclectic career.  Although he’s dabbled in the action genre before, most notably with THE LIMEY, he’s never come close to delivering a film that packs as many literal punches as HAYWIRE.  With echoes of Connery Bond films, Soderbergh has delivered a rollicking action picture with an ass kicking heroine out for revenge.

In keeping with the night of surprises, Actor/Comedian Joel McHale emerged from the crowd to lead the post screening Q & A.  McHale worked with Soderbergh on THE INFORMANT, and he proved to be the perfect moderator for a group which included Soderbergh and cast members Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Gina Carano. 

Asked about the origins of the project, Soderbergh recalled how he had seen Carano in televised Mixed Martial Arts matches on TV and had a revelation.  Even though Carano had never acted in a movie before, the director was convinced she could be the center of one.  The results prove that Soderbergh’s instincts were spot on.  If there’s any justice, Carano’s performance here will quickly launch her as an A-list female action star.  Not only are her fighting skills amazing to behold, but she more than holds her own dramatically amongst a veteran cast which includes McGregor, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas.

McHale kept the mood of the Q & A light, but Soderbergh raised a valid point when he asked why Angelina Jolie should be considered the only woman in Hollywood movies who’s allowed to act tough and carry a gun.  Carano claimed that her life is much the same as it’s always been, but that could be because HAYWIRE won’t be in general release until January. 

After a good fifteen minutes of banter, McHale showed himself to be the loyal E! employee he is, and asked Soderbergh what’s been on everyone’s mind.  How was he holding up in the wake of Kim Kardashian’s divorce?  With perfect comic timing, Soderbergh paused, then answered, “I almost didn’t come tonight.”  Adding that he’d had numerous shoots that stretched the length of the Kardashian marriage, he added “72 days is a long time.”

Building on the triumph of Mark Wahlberg’s sprited introduction of THE FIGHTER, last year’s secret screening, the 2011 AFI Fest presented by Audi once again delivered an unforgettable evening of free, A-list entertainment for true movie lovers.

HAYWIRE opens in theatres in January 2012.  The 2011 AFI Fest Presented by Audi continues through November 10th.  For tickets and info, visit

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