In times of crisis, what happens when a team of powerful women joins forces? They’re unstoppable. According to The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Carla Gugino, that’s one of the most crucial lessons to come from Netflix’s latest thriller Gunpowder Milkshake.
Gunpowder Milkshake follows a fierce assassin, Sam (Karen Gillian), and her journey with the criminal agency The Firm. However, during a “job” a young girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman) gets thrown into the mix. In order to usher her to safety, Sam reunites with her mother (Lena Headey) and a group of deadly women, The Librarians (Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett and Carla Gugino).
Among this trio is Gugino’s character, Madeline. Described by Gugino, Madeline is a very nuanced character contrived of a tragic backstory and an admiration of reading.
Gugino told Monsters & Critics in our exclusive interview, “I was talking to Navot [Papushado], our director and writer, about how in a relatively short amount of screen time, you have to understand these three librarians and how they’re different from each other and whether relationships are.”
She continued to say, “And I just fell in love with Madeleine. We talked to sort of about back story stuff and my feelings was that she’d been raised in an orphanage and sort of bonded with kids there, and had this sense of propriety from that.”
In our interview with Gugino, we spoke about her experience training for stunts, the collective power of women and what it was like to work alongside Karen Gillian and Angela Bassett.
Picking up stunt fighting skills
Madeleine was a stand-out throughout the flick as she sauntered around in her neat clothes with a book in hand. Viewers were stunned to see her transform into a gun-totting, ax-wielding assassin much like her peers. While familiar with stunt training, before Gunpowder Milkshake, Gugino had hardly ventured into the world of combat fighting.
She expressed, “I’ve done a lot of stunts, but not a lot of fights. So when they said, you’re going to be doing a fight sequence, one armed with a tomahawk, I thought, ‘Now that that scares the crap out of me. I have to do this movie.'”
While praising her trainers and fondly reflecting on her experience, Gugino added, “I just practiced as much as I could. We had about two weeks, maybe a week and a half, of stunt training before we actually started filming. The irony being that I didn’t injure myself at all while doing that. And then, I was recently filming and I was hiking on my only day off and I broke my wrist.”
While recounting the events, she lifted her arm to reveal a faint bruise. “So, I really relish my fight sequence in this even more now.”
The collective power of women
Multiple times throughout the interview, Gugino mentioned how the importance of sisterhood rings throughout Gunpowder Milkshake. Despite being an action-thriller, the movie packs in heartful moments amongst its hard-to-read characters.
Speaking about her lovely team of A-list coworkers, Gugino shared, “Lena and I feel like we’re long-lost sisters. Karen was super bada**, lovely, and the lead of the film. It’s always the person in that position on a project that really sets a tone. She has such a wonderful work ethic and is such a wonderful person. Angela is just awesome to the core. And Michelle is such a Zen warrior goddess.”
“I really felt like I was just in amazing company,” she continued. “We were all admirers of each other’s work, but we had never worked together. It was strange because, literally, the first day we were on set together, we were immediately at home. It was beautiful.”
Turning tables to the fictional world presented in Gunpowder Milkshake, Gugino added, “Something I do love about Gunpowder Milkshake is the family that we find and how sisterhood is kind of a lifelong, amazing thing to have. I think this movie is a total blast: Crazy action, super fun, very funny. There’s a lot of dry humor in it. I also love that at its heart, it’s also about a pack of women.”
Check out our full interview below:
Gunpowder Milkshake is currently streaming on Netflix.