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Piper Perabo Ready To Be Action Heroine On 'Covert Affairs'

by Steve Baltin, posted Jul 7th 2010 3:00PM
Piper PeraboSince bursting on the scene in 'Coyote Ugly' a decade ago, Piper Perabo has proven her versatility as an actress, doing everything from horror films ('Carriers') and romantic comedies ('Imagine Me And You') to blockbusters ('The Prestige') and family fare ('Cheaper By The Dozen 1 and 2').

About the only thing Perabo hasn't done is kick some ass as an action star. Now she's ready to do that as CIA spy Annie Walker in the new USA series 'Covert Affairs.'

Turns out that's the role Perabo has been waiting for. "I really like action movies. It's really more like my personality," she told TV Squad. "I've always been a tomboy and so I get to show a lot more of kind of who I am in real life."

As a hardcore action movie fan, what are some of the flicks she would have loved to have been in? "I would have died to have been in 'Fight Club,' except Helena Bonham Carter did such a good job how could you ever replace her? But I think 'Fight Club' is a perfect film; it's in my top three," she said. "I really like 'Hit Man,' people get up on me about that, but I thought Timothy Olyphant is like the perfect mix of that unemotional detachment and sort of hawk-like focus that is really fun to watch. I thought 'Mr. And Mrs. Smith' was a great film; it's a great combination of comedy and action and they do them both really well. I think the first 'Die Hard' is incredible. Bruce Willis has like the perfect mix of humor, but the stakes are really high. It's really hard to do."

So it may be too late for those, but on 'Covert Affairs' she gets to kick some serious ass and she's taking that very seriously. "I started training four weeks on my own before I even got up to Toronto and then we did four more weeks of training just getting into choosing what the fight style of the show would be because [executive producer] Doug Liman comes out of the Bourne world, 'Bourne Identity,' he likes really close, messy hand-to-hand combat," she noted.

What did they finally settle on? "It's a combination of Krav Maga, which is the Israeli army style of street fighting and Wing Chun, which is the martial arts style developed for nuns during the Samurai period," Perabo explained. "Wing Chun is mostly deflection technique so that you can take the oncoming energy of your attacker and move it past you and then get hits in as they go past."

Perabo is not a fighter in real life, though. "The last time I was in a fight was about 48 hours ago on set," she said. "Before the show, in real life, I think it was maybe fourth grade." But is she gonna be tempted to use her cool new skills? "Actually my Wing Chun teacher keeps saying, 'Don't think that now that I've taught you this you can get all mouthy when you go out and fight people,'" Perabo laughed. "She said, 'I'm teaching you to fight for camera, not for real life. So don't get all over confident.'"

So, for the time being, she'll have to settle for busting heads onscreen. She's loving that, along with things like stealing a Ferrari in an upcoming episode and skydiving, which seems like the perfect show for a tomboy at heart. "Even fantasies that I never even had are coming true," she said. "This show is so extreme, you start doing things and you're like, 'Wow, this is pretty awesome. I don't know if I could've dreamt this up.'"

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"Hitman", not "Hit Man"

July 07 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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